Hundreds 'Run Hard' in Columbia race - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Hundreds 'Run Hard' in Columbia race

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Hundreds of people hit the streets of downtown Columbia Saturday morning.

The Run Hard Columbia Marathon challenged even the most seasoned runners.

The event was hosted by the Run Hard Running Club, an after school running program for boys.

Making it through more than 26 miles, is no easy task.

"This was pretty hilly. It was pretty tough," said Justin Gillette, a marathon runner.

Whether you've done it before, or you're just starting out, there's something special about crossing the finish line.

"This is the 74th one that I've won," said Gillette, who has run more than 130 marathons.

"I just know I made it. That's it," said Ashley Sims, who was running her first marathon.

Gillette set a course record in last year's Famously Hot Columbia Marathon. This year, the marathon has a new name, but Gillette still won.

"I just wanted to come back and defend my title and maybe next year I'll come back again and run a little faster," said Gillette.

The Run Hard Marathon replaced the Famously Hot Columbia Marathon. The Famously Hot race ran into a variety of problems last year, including top finishers not getting their awards.

Saturday's race started at Sumter and Senate Streets and ended in front of the State House.

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