There have been 40 past overall winners of the TD Bank Reedy River Run 10K. But, isn't this the 40th edition of Greenville most competitive running event? Yes, but the first race back in 1978 had a tie between two Georgians. Benji Durden, who later made the 1980 USA Olympic Team in the marathon, and his friend Bob Varsha decided to tie for the victory.
The 40th edition will see the 41st winner and it will not be one of the past champions. Elkannah Kibet, who won the past two editions, is not returning as he is scheduled to run a marathon in Hamburg, Germany on Sunday, April 23. Kibet, who is a native of Kenya now a US citizen and competes for the US Army's World Class Athletic Program.
However, the 2016 women's champion will return. Dylan Hassett, who runs for the ASICS Greenville Track Club-ELITE program, will be returning to competition for the first time since December at the USA Club Cross Country Championships. . She is recovering from a foot injury, but looks forward to running in her hometown of 18 months.
Hassett will have competition from some of her ASICS GTC-ELITE teammates in Kimberly Ruck, Alison Parris and Kate Dodds. Ruck, who earned All American honors while competing for Clemson during college, recently won the Greenville News Run Downtown 5K for the third time in the last four years. She placed third at "Reedy" in 2016. They will be joined by two out-of-town runners who placed in the top four in 2016. Andrea Rediger is coming from her home in Minneapolis, MN after placing second last year. Asheville's Kate Schwartz, who was fourth in 2016, is also entered again. Schwartz is not a stranger to Greenville as she recently won the GHS Half Marathon.
The men's competition includes three runners from last year's top ten finishers, including two Greenville residents. Ricky Flynn wasfourth last year, while 2015 and 2016 South Carolina Runner of the Year Brett Morley will attempt to better his sixth place finish. Fort Bragg, NC's Peter Koskey, who was 7th in 2016, is also entered.
They will be challenged by Spartanburg's Adam Freudenthal, who has a 10K road best of under 30 minutes and Charlotte's Matt Elliott. Elliott is better know for his fine performances at 1500 and 5,000 meters. ASICS Greenville Track Club-ELITE's Austin Steagall and Ryan Root will also represent Greenville among the top entrants. Steagall recently broke the course record by 28 seconds in winning the Greenville News Run Downtown 5K in 14:14. Root placed second to Flynn in February's GHS Half Marathon.
Runners who are USA citizens and current USATF members will be competing for portions of a combined purse of $10,000 in prize money, with the men's and women's champions receiving $1,000 and possibly more if they achieve time incentives.