Columbia has a running problem: people love to run. So much so that on 26 October, I counted at least three races around town and one happening up in the Greenville/Spartanburg metropolitan area. Strictly Running had their Halloween Run 5k, the Go Leo Go 5k would take place at Saluda Shoals Park, and the DC Wonder Woman College Run Series happened at the University of South Carolina. Since I would work at the university library that day, it made sense to me to go for the Wonder Woman race and head to work afterwards.
I head out and park at the Bull Street Garage, which is free on weekends, and walk down to Blatt Fitness Center where the start/finish line and assembly area are. At packet pickup, I am greeted by Erin of Grit Endurance and get my shirt and bib. I love this shirt; it is a red performance shirt with the Wonder Woman logo on it. Most of the people around me were college aged, which passed muster because the university had been promoting it, at least in the library. And speaking of the Thomas Cooper Library, they showed their support by having a table set up to talk about its recently acquired vast comic book collection along with a Wonder Woman display on hand for picture opportunities. As I got to the back of the start line, as per my usual ritual, I noticed that I am basically one of five males in a sea of red wearing women. That didn’t bother me much, because as the run promotes, “#IAMWONDERWOMAN.”
The run kicks off with the DJ counting down and Erin also letting us know to get ready. The course we run is the same course that I ran last year from the UofSC Family Weekend 5k. And then I remember the hills. The course route looks like squished Big Dipper constellation, but with an uphill built into the beginning and end of the course. That second mile is nice and flat, especially since it goes around Hand Middle School, and unlike last year, directions along the course were better because I did NOT take a turn a street or three early (like a few others and myself did last year). Throughout the course, the sea of red shirts from the start of the race would trickle down to a stream before culminating into a little pond of crimson at the finish line.
The finish line had the usual assortment of refreshments and snacks for participants, with one exception. Apparently, Honey Stinger is a sponsor of the DC Wonder Woman race series, and that made me pretty happy. I will eat their waffles all day long and seeing them at the event really made my day because that meant I didn’t have to break into my own stash of Honey Stinger goodies.
It was a nice fun run, the medal was very bling-y since the middle spins around, the shirt was great, and it was a great chance to go through a part of the Gamecocks’ campus all in one stroke. No pressure to win, just good times to enjoy.
If you would like to see what the event looked like, check out my YouTube video here: