Prosperity Fire Department 5k and True to the Brew 10k double dip – Prosperity/Pomaria/Peak, SC – 3/30/19


Having died a thousand deaths in the last leg of the Palmetto 200 with the Van on the Run ultra team, I figured I’d take this week easy. I was signed up for the True to the Brew 10k, but at least it was flat, and hopefully I could throw down a decent time without exerting too much effort. Sadly, the Bunny Hop had moved their date to this weekend, so my tenure as the 7 foot rabbit had to take a hiatus. I was halfway into a week of half-hearted slog jogs and too much tennis when Roy Shelley, the newly “elected” dictator president, of the Columbia Running Club, messaged me. He had a double dip challenge for us, with a time window so small it would probably need 2 cars and possibly some executive favors. As it turned out, the Prosperity Fire Department 5k and 10k were starting their races early, with a 7:30 10k and 7:45 5k. True to the Brew started at 8:30. The races were about 15 minutes apart, give or take, so if you could finish the 5k in well under 25 minutes, hop in the car by 8:10ish, there was about a 5-6 minute cushion to make it to TTTB. As probably the most enthusiastic double dipper in the CRC, how could I refuse?? 

Probably by exercising good judgement,  but I digress. Let me say this, Roy puts way more effort in planning things than I do. Dude sends me an agenda, the USATF race routes, road maps. I’m surprised he didn’t get us a police escort. Speaking of executive privilege, one of the hangups  to our plan was the 1 mile shuttle from the parking area to the TTTB start, so we made a plea to Erin Roof for a special parking spot. It seems the Palmetto Conservation Society was being kind of strict, so there was some uncertainty about whether we could get near the start. I figured we would be so late that no one would stop us, but just in case, Pres. Shelley printed out an official “parking pass”. Apparently you can get away with anything if you act like you know what you’re doing.

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We had originally planned to meet at the Pomaria ball fields (official TTTB parking) at 6:45 to drop my car off, but typical of my planning style, I called Roy at 6:25 to change it to Peak. TTTB is a point to point race and requires a shuttle to get back to the start, so I figured we might as well use our 2 cars for some good and enable us to leave TTTB at our leisure.

We got to the Prosperity race about 7:05, and actually had to register on site since our plan was hatched so late. We already had the TTTB bibs from early packet pickup, a critical rule of double dipping strategy. I had half-hoped for a trophy hunt at Prosperity. I figured 4 races on the Tour, and this one had both a 5k and a 10k , and it was way out from Columbia. It fit all the Blue Shoes trophy hunting criteria. One snafu though. Apparently there was prize money, so the first thing I see are two local Kenyan guys, Harrison Kirigwi and Norman Maihathi, who decided to split the races and easily take the cash. DOH! Kenzie Riddle was racing for the first time in 2 years in the 5k, and Joy Miller was running the ten. So we had our overall winners set from the start line. Coach B would be racing with me in the 5k for second place. The whole Pearson clan was on hand with Tim, Edy and Tori representing. Ivery Baldwin, Thomas Outlaw, Gretchen Lambert and Tom Lance were some other familiar faces.


At the 5k line, I think the RD saw me taking pics and delayed the start for a minute.  Thanks to me, now things were really tight. I took off pretty hard from the gun but my legs were still hating me from the P200.  Harrison leaves us all immediately, and at the first turn onto Main St, Kenzie and Mark pass me. This course is super flat, and I think I’m giving a decent effort, but I have zero spring in my step. The police car is guiding Harrison, so they send out a 4 wheeler to be the lead “car” for the mere mortals, which is nice. Mile 1 is like 6:37, a good 20+ seconds off my typical 5k pace. I try not to think about the 10k in my near future, but it definitely sinks in as we hit a long stretch on highway 76. I keep Kenzie and Mark within about 10-20 meters for most of the race. There’s a turn around near the 2 mile mark, and Roy is not too far behind, so hopefully we can jump in the car ASAP. I briefly flirt with pushing in all the chips to try and catch Coach B, but he’s summoning his own kick and I got nuthin. Kenzie is right ahead and I almost catch her with the small hill up to the finish but end up a second behind her. 20:27.  Ugly time for sure, but good for 3rd male overall in this trophy hunt. I grab 2 waters from the cooler and Roy comes in a shade under 23 minutes. We both head to the car a sweaty mess and take off, right at 8:10 by my watch. There were a couple of ways we could have gotten to Pomaria, but we decide to go by the Google maps quickest version. Yeah, google maps didn’t adjust for morning 5ks with a bunch of walkers. We end up sitting on 76 staring at someone’s boat trailer for what seems like an eternity. Finally we turn off 76 towards Pomaria, but everyone and their mom is also going that way. As far as the rest of the trip, I would give you details, but per my attorney driver, we “proceeded cautiously, obeying all road signs and observing posted speed limits“.  Let’s just say I didn’t need pre-race warmups to get my adrenaline going.


Roy tears into Pomaria, I mean eases into the town center, and as we randomly park.  I can hear Erin actually counting down to the start. I jump out of the car, hurdle over some grass, narrowly avoid plowing into Joe Roof , and somehow my Garmin miraculously finds a satellite in my 50 meter dash, as I hit the front of the pack just as the countdown hits zero. MADE IT! YAY!

But there was a price to pay. Apparently Thanos has exacted his infinity stone power on my colon because suddenly I don’t feel so good. 

Fifty meters in and I’m already scouting out the woods. Maybe it will pass. Maybe it was just the adrenaline of the start. Maybe if I pick up the pace it will go away. Negative, ghost rider. This was not going to be pretty.  First there’s a stretch of woods with barbed wire, then a swamp. Oh dear God. Then it goes away for a bit…then comes back with a vengeance.  Finally I come up with the bridge idea. I duck under a bridge at about 2 miles, have to climb down with gimp legs, watch for snakes, make 1000 percent sure there are no potential witnesses and sweet Jesus unspeakable horrors were then committed under that bridge. Thankfully there was also a stream there, also of questionable microbiologic content. I can hear everyone tramping on the bridge overhead, oblivious to the haz mat scene just under their feet. Finally, in what seems like ten minutes, but was actually about 4, I emerge like a enormous dazed troll from under the bridge.  And since I have completely blown any TDC points from this race, an enormous, dazed and depressed troll. I feel lighter though definitely with that not so fresh feeling. But there are 4 miles to go and this is not an out and back loop, so I push on. I at least try to maintain around 8 minute pace, because I’m just ready to get this thing done. For those not hampered by a distempered colon, it was a beautiful day on a flat trail through the forest. Just about perfect. I managed to catch up with a bunch of people who were thoroughly confused by my presence. It’s hard to find new ways to politely say I HAD TO TAKE A GIANT DUMP. The last mile or two I started catching some of CRC age groupers, so I picked up the pace to give myself a hell snowball’s chance of age group glory. Of course, I spotted Drew and Nance and Yerg and McGrievy at the start, so these guys were going to have to place and then go three deep masters for me to have a chance. I also forgot that my Garmin was stopped during my off road excursion, so instead of possibly breaking 50 minutes I was closer to 54. Still, there were a couple of middle aged looking dudes in the last mile and I took off , ending in a sprint on the bridge at the finish. Yeah, I should have saved my energy. 53:46, 7th in age group.


The finish line was awesome for this race as usual. There was a good band that actually played at a reasonable volume (as opposed to the occasional race DJs who think they’re at South beach at 3 am), subs,  and of course beer,  served up by the Craft and Draft guys. Weather was perfect too -70’s and sunny. There was a huge Columbia running club/Harbison Trail Runners/RWB/RUI contingent on hand with Brie and Matt McGrievy, Tracy Tisdale,  Bobby Scott, Sabrina Gandy, Ed Aufuldish, Pete O’Boyle, Winston Holliday, Naomi Rabon, Julie McKinnon, Ken and Sheila Bolin, Jen Clyburn, Mike and Pam Griffin, Mackenzie Wilt, Mario Alvarez, Matt Havens, Birte and Jeff Fretwell, Jim Williams, Jeff Longway, Lisa Powell, Ronda Sanders, Mike Ferguson, Renee and Patrick McCormick, Will Rowan, Joe and Janette Robinson, Betsy Long, Teresa Shelton, Lorand Batten, Michael Beaudet, Clara Nance, Lois and Bryan Leaburn, Teresa Harrington, Missy Caughman, Kara Clyburn, Bertha Woehl, Ron Hagell, Chesson Merritt, Maria Pray, Mike and Janice Compton, Sharon Sherbourne, Patti Lowden,  Harry Strick, and Shirley Smith. Amazing turnout for a day with so may other races going on.


Overall 5k winners were Harrison Kirigwi in 15:55, Coach B was second with the Sasquatch 3rd.  Kenzie won the women’s race, with Stacy Willard and Haley Thomason completing the podium.

5k age groupers were President Roy taking first in the 50-54. Tim Pearson took 3rd in the 55-59 with his new bionic knee.

In the 10k, Norman Maihathi took the win in 39 minutes, with Jon Lawson Cope 2nd and Ivery Baldwin getting third. Nice trophy hunt, Ivery!

10k  age groupers: Tori Pearson won the 30-34.  Thomas Outlaw (jr) won the 35-39. Gretchen Lambert took 3rd in the 45-49. Tom Lance won the 50-54. Edy Pearson won the 55-59, while Tommy Outlaw took the 60-64.

In the TTTB:

Mike Nance edged Drew Williams for the win in an epic showdown of Team Carebeers (our Ville to Ville relay team for April 13). Jeff Fretwell was 3rd.

Among the women, Birte Fretwell captured her second True to the Brew title after her half marathon win at Croft State Park last year. Sally Singleton and Jessica Weems were 2nd and 3rd.

Mens masters was won by TUS beast Ed Aufuldish, the YERG and Winston Holliday. Colleen Vowles, Jen Clyburn and Naomi Rabon swept female masters.

Female Age groups: Makenzie Wilt was 3rd in the 30-34.  Julie “2017 Scrotum of the Year” McKinnon and Brie McGrievy went 1-2 in the 40-44. Tracy “Jedi Runner” Tisdale was 3rd in the 45-49. Lisa Powell was 2nd in the 55-59. Lois Leaburn won the 60-64.  Sharon Sherbourne was second in the 65-69. Patti Lowden was tops in the 70+.

Male age groups: Beer mile director Bobby Scott won the 30-34. Matt McGrievy won the 40-44. Ken Bolin and Roy Shelley went 1-2 in the 50-54. Mario Alvarez and Jim Williams took the top 2 spots in the 55-59.  Pete O’Boyle and Jeff Longway were 2nd and 3rd in the 60-64. Mike Compton was 65-69 champ, while Ron Hagell won the 70+.

Prosperity Fire Department 5k/10k:

True to the Brew: Pomaria to Peak 10k;perpage:10

Alex’s true to the POO 10k:

Alex’s Prosperity 5k:




Race for the Place 5k – Shandon – Columbia, SC – 2/9/13

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The Race for the Place is a relatively new 5k  (I think in its 4th year) that starts and finishes near St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Shandon. It benefits St Lawrence Place (the “place” in the name), a shelter for homeless families.

For whatever reason, this race has become super competitive. I think they offer prize money for the top overall winners, but I’m not sure why all the other big dawgs come out for this one.  Its on one of the many rectangle Shandon courses that’s pretty flat, so I think a lot of people do this race to try and PR.  Last year was particularly nuts, especially for my age group.  I ran a 19:19, one of my fastest times at that point, and ended up 15th overall and SEVENTH in age group. Code ran an 18:50 and didnt even place. Derek Gomez ran an 18:35 …and ended up third. And thats just because Becraft took an overall place.

They have cool painted ceramic tiles as age group awards in this race, so I really wanted to place this year, but if 2012 was any indication, I had about zero chance. I did actually cut way back in my miles in the week before the race in an attempt to win back some of the mojo lost at the Red Nose Run.  That race sucked for me – just no energy or motivation.

I showed up ridiculously early as I always do. Already, there were plenty of elite types roaming around. Ashton was there to try and repeat his win here last year. OJ Striggles and Justin Bishop were there, though I later learned he was guiding Amy. I was hoping he and Eric might battle it out and push each other to some fast times. Amy and Kenzie showed up to what I thought would be a close battle for the overall female. Team Allers were there fresh off their domination of the 5k and mile at Tybee. The Diesels,  Drew Williams,  621 ninjas Shufy Rowe, Mike Hedgecock , Erin Miller and Pete O’Boyle; Hal Ray, Shannon Iriel, Whitney Keen, Eric McMichael,  Kristin Schmitz, the Griffins, Gasque, Lisa Smarr, Del Soule, Henry Holt, Mickie Ishizue, Pete Poore, Valerie Selby, Rocky, Patti Lowden,  and the Robertsons were some of the familiar faces.

Oh, and don’ t forget Trophy.  Trophy reached his peak in 2011 when he broke 20 minutes for the first time…and then he never did it again.  Having fallen into Blackjack 5ks in the past few months, the plan for 2013 was to bring back the Mcgaha Magic. I’ve been dragging him through hellish Blue Shoes style workouts like Mt Sesqui/sand hell repeats and hilly 16 milers at 7:30ish pace. Good fun.  I give him credit, though. He has definitely put in some work. His goal was to go low 20 in this race, and maybe..just maybe ..reach the beautiful land of the 19’s.

In the past few months I had found an even more wonderful world, that of the 18’s, and I really wanted to get back there. This course was flat and my legs were fresh, so I figured I had a chance. Still, I’ve been fighting off the plague all week, so I was less than 100 percent.

With the start, I tried to hold back some. This worked for about 5 seconds, and I latched on the back of a pack with Drew, Amy, Hedge and Kenzie. In other words, I was already trying to be a hero. Half mile in and it seemed a bit brisk. I could still see the lead car and Ashton hauling ass down Heyward St on the first turn, so I knew this was probably a little too speedy, but sometimes my figurative head is as big as my actual enormous melon.  Oh, and apparently the contour of the earth changed from last year, because I’ll be damned if there arent actual hills on this course. No monsters, but enough to subtly beat you down. First mile : 5:54. Apparently my 4 year old and I share the same level of self restraint.

I’m sucking wind already, so I try to step off the throttle just a bit.  When I do that, though, I fall off the back of the pack just in front. Kenzie has also fallen off the back so I try and keep up with her. Theyre letting cars behind us already, so at least I feel confident no one is going to come up and Blue Shoe me. Finally we hit the turnaround of the rectangle, and this always gives me a little psychological boost. I round the turn at Hand middle school and actually pass Kenzie. This briefly makes me think I must be throwing down some killer pace, but then the mile comes back only at 6:15.  Damn. I know 19 minutes is 6:07 pace,  but I cant do the math when my brain is fighting for oxygen to survive. I know I’m almost right on it.  I try and kick it in basically the whole last mile. And it hurts..bad. I have got to find a way to run more relaxed, because the main pain seems to be in my arms, probably from holding them like an uptight T-rex for the past 15 minutes.  I can see Hedge reeling back in a bit, but he’s holding his pace pretty well.  I’m half delirious by the time we hit the home stretch, but they hide the finish behind one last little corner, so I can’t see the clock. Finally I hit that turn and its like 18:48. I blast forth in full ugly race face mode, letting behind all dignity in a desperate lunge for sub 19. I cross the line and collapse in a heap.  And Jess tells me I made it,  18:59.3 or something is what I thought I heard.

I’m just wobbling to stand when all of a sudden here comes trophy blasting around the corner with the clock in the 19:50’s. He’s killing it and sure enough…19:57.  The sub 20 Trophy is back!  Pretty awesome.  He was hoping to get there by April but apparently he’s been on a mission. I’m just a little afraid I might be part of that mission.

I ‘m all euphoric until I check the results..19:00???. WTF!  Crushed by a fraction of a second. Still, I get 2nd in AG because all of last years 35-39 studs stayed home, except for Drew who took 1st.  Since OJ took an overall spot, Trophy not only gets a sub 20 but an age group award too by winning 3rd.

Eric Ashton crushed the field by a minute in a half to take the win. 16 minutes for him is like a stroll. OJ took second in 17:30 and Josh Horn third  Amy won the female overall, with Kenzie finishing 2nd on a less than great day for her.  Mary Claire Cox finished third to chick Trophy by 2 seconds.

Age groupers included Andy Mikula (1st 25-29),  Kristin Schmitz and Jennifer Ward in the 30-34,  Erin Miller 1st in the 35-39,  Eric Allers and Hedge in the 40-44, Hal Ray , Mike Grffin and Tigs in the 50-54,  Pete O’Boyle , Shufy Rowe  and Valerie Selby in the 55-59, Alex Ponamarev in the 60-64, Patti Lowden and Sharon Sherbourne in the 60-64,  Del Soule and Margaret Holt in the 65-59, and Henry Holt and Rocky Soderberg  in the 70+.

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