Non-profit saves Columbia Marathon - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Non-profit saves Columbia Marathon

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A non-profit running club that focuses on active and healthy lifestyles for Midlands kids has taken over the Columbia Marathon.

Run Hard has announced it intends to guide the 2014 event to its completion and hold a marathon, half marathon, 5K and kids marathon on March 8.

"We're going to have a first chance to make a new impression," said race director Jesse Harmon.

Harmon decided his group would save the marathon after seeing the news of the demise of the 2-year-old event

"We want to inspire the younger generation to stay active and to keep running as a part of their lives," said Harmon.

The races will follow the same courses, and technical shirts and medals for all of the events will be included in the entry fees.

Harmon is offering special pricing from November 1 - December 1. Registration fees during the introductory time frame will be:

Marathon           $50
Relay                  $100
Half Marathon    $40
5K                      $20
Kids' Marathon   $15

Registration is available here.

After that, prices will increase three times through race day.

Harmon said the Columbia Police Department recently gave the group approval to hold the event.

The Run Hard after school running program and Girls on the Run will benefit from the Columbia Marathon, Harmon said.

In late October, a group of people joined together to try to revive the event using a relatively new form of fundraising commonly referred to as crowdsourcing or crowdfunding.

Harmon said that group's leader has promised to offer assistance to the Run Hard group.

The 2012 race drew runners from 46 states and 5 countries and event attracted at least 2,000 people to downtown Columbia, according to some estimates.

Possible trouble for the event became apparent in the days following the 2013 event when several age-group winners began to complain that they did not receive their promised awards.

Hartley responded on the race's Facebook page saying he did not have enough money to purchase the awards.

For more information, contact Jesse Harmon at jesse@runhard.org.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

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