BY HERB TOWNSEND
COLUMBIA, SC--I spend winters in Naples, FL, and summers in Ocean City, NJ, so I am a certified snowbird. In what has become a tradition during the semi-annual migrations, stopping for a race along the route gives a welcome break from the long drive, and it provides an opportunity to sample new races.
On May 19, 2018, the new race venue was the Governors Cup 5K and half-marathon in Columbia, the capital of South Carolina. There was much to like about these races. They were well organized, and the courses were well marked and monitored. Plus, there was an abundance of post-race pizza, and both finish line and awards were right next to my hotel.
Both races were run on roads around the state Capitol and the University of South Carolina that included a surprising number of nasty hills.
Despite earlier forecasts of rain, weather conditions for these races were reasonably good, with partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the mid-70 F range, and humidity in the mid 90% range.
473 finished the 5K, and 364 in the more competitive half. Top male in the half-marathon was Francis Kamiri, age 30, from Homewood, AL, in a time of 1:05:27, and first woman was 29-year-old Zipporah Chebet of Chapel Hill, NC, in 1:19:19. For the 5K race, the male winner was Matt Shock, age 36, of Greenville SC, in 16:03, and the top female was Michelle Ziegler, 37, also of Greenville SC, in 18:32.