Hundreds turn out for Girls on the Run 5K

Jeanne Reynolds photos.

The retired Cayce Motor Speedway was once again the site of some exciting racing Saturday — but the only burning rubber came from hundreds of running shoes as Girls on the Run Columbia hosted its spring 5K.

Nearly 500 girls, accompanied by 270 running buddies and 100 coaches, ran and walked the 3.1-mile course in the neighborhood around the speedway, finishing with a half-lap around the banked track. Many of the participants flaunted colorful tutus and headwear, and geared up for the race with glittering face paint and tinted hair spray.

The event was the culmination of Girls on the Run’s spring season, a 10-week life skills program for girls in third through eighth grades. Trained coaches led 36 teams at 33 area schools through a research-based curriculum that included discussions, activities and running games to prepare for the 5K.

In addition to the participants, more than 200 volunteers combined efforts — from planning to set up, and from to staffing water stops and cheering stations along the course to cleaning up afterward — to produce the event, according to executive director Shannon Fountain.

“We were a little worried about the weather, but it ended up being a perfect morning for a 5K to celebrate the girls,” Fountain said.

Girls on the Run’s fall season will begin in September. To learn more, register or volunteer, visit

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Cayce, Columbia, Lexington County