Ten years ago, the Ray Tanner Foundation held its first Ray Tanner Home Run with the goal of raising money for economically and medically disadvantaged children and their families.
Since then, the race has grown from 200 participants to 1,800 participants and has raised more than $140,000 for families in the Columbia area.
And this year, money raised will go to help those affected by the devastating floods earlier this month.
The 2015 event, set for Saturday, Oct. 24, marks the 10th anniversary of the race. Opening ceremonies and the 12K run kick off at 7:30 a.m. at Carolina Baseball Stadium.
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The event is a large draw for families and University of South Carolina baseball fans who who not only start the events’ races in Carolina Stadium but complete the races at the finish line – positioned at home plate.
About the race
The Ray Tanner Home Run is presented as a community service by the all-volunteer Strictly Running Long Distance Team. Since the team is 100 percent volunteer, all proceeds after race expenses go to the Ray Tanner Foundation.
At a glance
The run is set up to accommodate runners, walkers and kids of all ages through its offerings of a 12K, 5K, kids’ 1-mile run (for those younger than 18), and a kids’ fun run. All runs leave from Carolina Baseball Stadium at 431 Williams St. and return to the stadium to finish at home plate.
About the Ray Tanner Foundation
Founded by Ray and Karen Tanner in 2005, the Ray Tanner Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the betterment of economically and medically disadvantaged children and their families in the Columbia area. For information, visit www.TheRayTannerFoundation.org.
What you may not know
The water stop on B Avenue in West Columbia has been called the “coolest water stop” of any race in Columbia. It features a steel drum band playing while volunteers dressed in grass skirts, wigs and coconut bras pass out waters to racers.
The stop is named the Leona Lavallee Inspiration Station in memory of the race volunteer who started that water stop concept with the first race 10 years ago.
Race start times
12K: 7:45 a.m.
5K: 8:15 a.m.
1-mile kids’ run: 8:20 a.m.
Kids’ fun run: 9 a.m. (preceded by games on the field at 8:15 a.m.)
Fees include a free T-shirt.
12K run: $30
1-mile kids’ run: $20
Kids’ fun run: $5
Janet Jones Kendall, email@example.com
ALSO HAPPENING SATURDAY: THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE MUD RUN
The Ultimate Challenge Mud Run may be the only upcoming Columbia event that hasn’t been negatively affected by the historic floods.
Course organizers say on the event’s Facebook page that the infamous Leatherneck course in Gaston “looks OK and sound, which means the run will still be on as scheduled.”
So lace up your boots and hit the course – semper fi.
WHEN: Start times are 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24.
WHERE: 1215 Valley Ridge Road, Gaston
WHO: Anyone 14 and older who can form a team of two or four that has at least one 18-year-old team member.
WHAT: Teams can either compete with other teams for awards or simply sign up to complete the course (for that sense of satisfaction that comes after successfully forging through obstacles in the mud for two hours).
RACE GOAL: Established in 1993, the Ultimate Challenge Mud Run is a nonprofit organization established to honor the sacrifices of Marines and veterans. In previous years, the race has donated as much as $100,000 to charities such as the Greater Columbia Marine Foundation and local high school ROTC programs. Donations also have been made to renovate the homes of Columbia veterans.
THE COURSE: Don’t be fooled by the name “Mud Run.” Race officials say, “This is no 5K with a couple of mud holes and a few cheesy obstacles.” The race is an obstacle race, designed and built by a former Marine drill instructor, with 36 military-style obstacles spread over 6.2 miles with Marines to “motivate” racers at each obstacle.