Ask anyone familiar with South Carolina’s road running scene which yearly races garner statewide appeal and they will surely cite Greenville’s annual Reedy River Run near the top of that last.
On Friday evening, the festivities officially began with the TD Bank Reedy Great Kids Mile. A fantastic turnout of 537 youngsters (ages 13 and under) participated in the race that began at the convergence of South Main and Augusta Streets. The Overall Boys winner was Will Dolven, 13 from Simpsonville, who delivered a terrific road mile time of 5:55. 9-year-old, Bryn Bissinger of Greenville, eked out a victory for the Girls division in 6:39.
All elementary and middle school aged runners helped to bring in money for their respective schools by taking part in the $5,000 Fit’s Cool School Challenge. The schools with the most registrants were eligible to receive $1,250 and $1,000 based on the highest participation percentage of a school’s enrollment- a much needed source of revenue as many public schools grapple with the long-term ramifications of prospective educational cuts from the recent sequestration in federal spending.
Interludes of cold rain, that at times brought on a light wintry mix at the start of the official Reedy River Run on Saturday morning, did not deter the thousands of bundled up runners and spectators from congregating in front of the TD Bank headquarters at the heart of downtown Greenville. 985 runners lined up for the 36th consecutive running of the Reedy River 10K. The race has a reputation of attracting some of the top runners throughout the Southeast as well as nationwide with its prestigious history and hefty cash purse that lures many to the streets of Greenville each March. It also serves as the South Carolina 10K State Championship Road Race.
This year would prove to be no different.
As one runner said to me at the start of the race, "You know there's a lot of prize money (on the line) when you see runners with matching uniforms."
The crew from ZAP Fitness (one of those "runners with matching uniforms"), an elite running club located near mountainous Blowing Rock, North Carolina, once again dominated the field with Tyler Pennel, 25, edging teammate Cameron Bean, 26, 30:08 to 30:23 for first overall male. In fact, counting the women, 7 of the top 13 finishers represented the Tar Heel State. Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, the 12th place finisher in the 2012 10,000 Meter Olympic Final, had her 33:05 course record (set in 2011) broken by Neely Spence-Gracey. Gracey, a professional runner who last year joined the Hanson Brooks Original Distance Project out of Rochester Hills, Michigan, swiped a grand total of $1,450 on Saturday for both her first place finish and course record.
Greenville Track Club (GTC) Elite was well-represented in both the 5K and 10K races. Adam Freudenthal(23, Spartanburg) was the top South Carolina finisher in 31:04 and fourth overall.
“It’s good to have this race be as competitive as it is,” Freudenthal told The Greenville News.
Kimberly Ruck (23, Cayce), a graduate student at the University of South Carolina and the first female to join the emergent GTC-Elite team, was the state’s top female finisher (36:54) and the 5th overall among the 491 women who competed in the event. Ruck recently won the Greenville News Downtown 5K Run in January and used this race as a tune-up for the upcoming track season.
For the 3rd consecutive race, youngster Coen Roberts of Greer set a state record in his respective 10-11 age group. Roberts shattered the sixteen year 10K state record by 1 minute and 47 seconds in a time of 39:33. His time was good enough for 48th Overall and the 3rd fastest among runners under 20.
The top South Carolina 10K Finishers
1. Adam Freudenthal(23, Spartanburg) 31:04/4th Overall
2. Eric Ashton (45, Columbia) 31:51/6th Overall
3. Tom Ford (21, Piedmont) 32:58/8th Overall
1. Eric Ashton (45, Columbia) 31:51/6th Overall
2. Scott Autrey (40, Easley) 34:47/17th Overall
3. Irv Batten (49, Summerville) 34:53/19th Overall
1. Mark Embler (55, North Charleston) 37:09/29th Overall
2. Joe Hammond (51, Greenville) 37:09/30th Overall
3. Bob Sams (51, Cordova) 37:30/33rd Overall
1. Kimberly Ruck (23, Cayce) 36:54/5th Female/27th Overall
2. Rives Poe (35, Charleston) 37:12/6th Female/31st Overall
3. Amy Murray (40, Greenville) 37:54/8th Female/35th Overall
1. Amy Murray (40, Greenville) 37:54/8th Female/35th Overall
2. Kristi Arledge (43, Simpsonville) 39:38/10th Female/50th Overall
3. Susi Smith (53, Greenville) 41:26/12th Female/64th Overall
1. Susi Smith (53, Greenville) 41:26/12th Female/64th Overall
2. Ruth Marie Embler (55, North Charleston) 42:36/18th Female/79th Overall
3. Dian Ford (57, Piedmont) 43:06/20th Female/86th Overall
In the accompanying 5K, Josh Cashman (24, Simpsonville) took first place in the 1,685 runner field with a 15:31 on the challenging course. Cashman recently has begun training with GTC-Elite with the hopes of meeting the team’s 5,000-meter Qualifying Standard.
Michelle Ziegler (31, Rock Hill) continued her terrific start to the 2013 season by winning 1st Place among females and 9th Overall. Her time of 18:25 set a new course record. She outpaced her running partner and fellow Greenville resident, Meg Chieffe, 24, who finished in 18:50, respectively.
Both the 5K and 10K races ended on South Main Street in front of the Liberty Bridge which were followed by the post-race festivities and award ceremony.
For the full results of the 2013 Reedy River Run, visit: http://www.setupevents.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=page&filename=reedyresul...