THE SC Governor’s Cup Road Race was created in 1973 by the Columbia Running and Jogging Club at the request of then Gov. John C. West, who wanted to encourage fitness by celebrating National Jogging Day.
The Governor’s Cup turned 40 this year, and a few of its eldest members are participating as runners or volunteers. Richard Harris of Columbia was the first race director in 1973, and has served in some capacity every year since. Part of the race’s durability is the transfer of the Cup from the Columbia Running Club to the Carolina Marathon Association in 1996.
The number of runners and the lengths of the races varied over the years, but the growth in popularity was due in part to increased sophistication in course design and measurement, and adapting to metric rules for course measurement.
This change allowed accurate finish times by gender, age, and name.
The Cup this year was a half-marathon with 484 finishers. Chapel Hill’s Kiprono Kurgat, 25, was first at 1:05:17, a pending first place State All-Comer time. His pace was 4:59. Charleston’s Michael Banks, 28, finished in 1:05:50, which is a pending SC Open State record. Clemson runner Dave Geer, 60, finished in 1:24:39, a pending SC 60-64 Age Group record.