On Saturday, April 21, 2018, over 3,000 runners will line up on Greenville, South Carolina’s iconic Main Street for the 41st annual TD Bank Reedy River Run. During their race they will experience the small-town charm of Greenville’s downtown area, the springtime beauty of both Cleveland Park and Falls Park on the Reedy and cross the event’s namesake river six times.
Once they cross “the best finish line set-up in the state,” according to professional race timer Scott Bagwell, they will gather at the TD Stage at the Peace Center for awards, refreshments and music in a festive atmosphere. Each 10K finisher receives a medal, which is soon to become one of a collection for this popular and stimulating event.
During the mid-1970s, many young leaders in Greenville, SC began looking for ways to bring some fun and energy back to downtown Greenville. Cleveland Park had just been revitalized, complete with more than three miles of paved trails. So they established a 10K race that would run along the Reedy River and through beautiful Cleveland Park. The five-year-old Greenville Track Club produced the first Reedy River Run in the spring of 1978.
Since the mid-1990s Greenville has continued to evolve and has now become one of the top ten tourist destinations in the US and features the slogan, “Yeah, THAT Greenville.” The city also earned the No. 3 slot by Condé Nast Traveler’s “The Best Small Cities in the U.S." in 2017 and was the 4th fastest growing city in the United States between 2015 and 2016, as ranked by the Census Bureau. The exciting downtown area has many upscale hotels within walking distance to the start and finish of the TD Bank Reedy River Run, which starts in historic Court Square and finishes on the bridge over the river on S. Main Street.
With the growth of Downtown, there have been minor changes to the 10K course over the years, but one thing has remained a constant — the hills. The course is definitely ‘rolling’ but has produced some fast times throughout history. The list of past men and women’s winners is impressive as are the event records of 29:33 and 33:04, respectively.
“Since the 2017 10K sold out, when it reached our limit of 1500, we have increased the limit to 1600 for 2018. We will also feature a five-wave, staggered start for the 10K to ease the congestion and facilitate the flow on Main Street,” explained race director Mike Caldwell. Running on Greenville’s Main Street has become a unique tradition. The tree-lined, two-lane street is synonymous with fun, food and activity — and features many unique shops and restaurants. If you haven’t dined along Greenville’s Main Street, then you are definitely missing an experience.
From year one, The Reedy River Run was a featured 10K event on the Racing South Magazine road racing circuit. It also had the blessing of the USA Track & Field organization and became USATF's South Carolina 10K state championship for quite a few years.
“Through the support of our title sponsor, TD Bank, we have been able to produce one of the best running values in the Southeast,” stated Caldwell. The 10K entry fee was only $29 for the first 250 entries, $33 for the next 250. It is currently at $35 (plus processing fees) and will rise to $37 once reaching 1000 registrants. It then tops out at $39 after 1400 entries and for those who register before the 1600 participant limit. The event also has a 5K for those not ready to tackle the 10K distance. For more information please visit: www.tdbankreedyriverrun.com.
Note: This article originally was published in Running Journal.