Expect street closures and delays for Run Hard Marathon - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Expect street closures and delays for Run Hard Marathon

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Source: Run Hard Columbia Marathon Source: Run Hard Columbia Marathon

The capital city went through a decade or so without a marathon until 2012, when we first saw the first of two marathons branded with the "Famously Hot" label.

That event flamed out last fall.

But the 26.2 mile distance is back for a third year thank to a grass roots effort by the Midlands running community.

Based on the participation and turnout for the marathon expo at Columbia's Clarion Hotel Friday, you'd never know the capital city's annual 26 miler was at best, on life support a few months ago.

But the race has been resurrected after collapsing last spring amid hard feelings from runners who took part in the second edition of what was known then as the Famously Hot Columbia Marathon.

That race suffered from organizational and financial issues that among other things prevented race age group winners from collecting their awards.

When year three of the race seemed doomed Jesse Harmon of Lexington stepped in.

"There was really a time in the transition there where we really had to go to people and just tell them what our vision, what our goals were for the race and what direction we wanted to go with it and some people still stayed back witch, I believe is warranted because of what happened in the past," Hammond said.

Harmon knew something about organizing runners.

Two years ago, he put together a program to encourage young boys to get involved in the sport-a program that gave the marathon its name "Run Hard."

"The idea is we understand that young people have so much potential and we know that running is such a great teacher as well because there are no short cuts in running," Hammond said.

Saturday's race has drawn several hundred planning to go the full distance.

The Run Hard Marathon is also now lending a hand to others including the family of Jake Zeman, the runner who died at the finish line of last year's Savannah marathon.

"A lot of people can really relate to that and have small children, things like an undiagnosed heart condition … its' surprising like things like that can happen," said Karen Snyder, Zeman's running partner.

People trying to drive in Columbia Saturday morning may experience some delays because of the marathon.

The race starts at Sumter and Senate Streets at 7:30 a.m. and ends in front of the State House on Main Street. Street closures in the area begin at 4 a.m.

Major streets affected include Main, Gervais, Blossom, Saluda, Kilbourne Road and North Trenholm Road.  Click here for a link to the course map. Some intersections may be closed, while law enforcement officers may be directing traffic at other intersections.

Delays and closures could be in effect until 1:30 p.m.

The Columbia Police Department has more information posted on its Facebook page.

Click here for more information on the Run Hard Columbia Marathon.

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