Recurring Group Runs

See running groups, Strictly Running Event Calendar, Fleet Feet’s Event Calendar
Midland area hiking/running paths, trails, etc.

Columbia Riverfront Park(312 Laurel Street): a 2.5 mile completely flat asphalt walking, running, and cycling path along the Columbia Canal. Beautiful views at sunrise & sunset. (Bathrooms available at both ends.)

Columbia Owens Field(1351 Jim Hamilton Boulevard): has a track stadium for speed workouts, a small number of trails, and a large number of playing fields. Sometimes used for cross-country training. Restrooms available.

USC Track (200 S Marion St, Columbia): Usually restricted to USC athletes and associated groups. Contact the USC athletic department to seek permission for use.

Cayce Riverwalk Park: About 8 miles of flat paths, including concrete and wooden boardwalks. A number of access points. Can get crowded during nice weather.

Harbison State Forest: Over 18 miles of multi-use trials with multiple access points. A daily parking pass is $5 but an annual pass is only $25 (and you can print a temporary one immediately when you purchase it online).

Trail Open/Closed hotline (recording) 803-896-8897

Friends of Harbison Forest

Harbison Trail Runners - *NEW WEBSITE

Sesquicentennial State Park: About 12 miles of trails, including some tough sandy ones. Admission $5 per adult & $3 per child (ages 6-15; 5 & under are free), or you can get an annual pass for all State Parks for $75 per vehicle.Annual Vehicle Pass

Friends of Sesqui

South Carolina trails

Searchable by county.

Additional Facebook suggestions:

“Palmetto TRAC Club” (of course)
“Trail and Ultra Running”
 “Discount Codes for Races”

Triathletes Runners  and  Cyclists

Online / Magazines

Local Running Stores


Columbia Running Club

One of the state’s oldest and most active clubs supporting the Midlands running community. Membership is only ~ $20/$25 per year and for that you receive a weekly newsletter with race reports & runner interviews, discount codes for some races, an annual banquet, and participation in the “Tour de Blue Shoes.” Some members participate in a weekly Saturday group run starting at 7AM at the Starbucks in Five Points (some will start earlier – coordinate on Facebook).

Lexington Running Club

Active mainly on Facebook. They support a group run on Saturday mornings beginning at 6:20am in the Lexington High School parking lot. Water and Gatorade are provided (route is up to 7.2 miles). You can sign up for a newsletter that is mostly a reblog of general running news.

Harbison Trail Runners

An irreverent bunch of guano crazy trail and ultrarunners. Rick Stroud of HTR publishes one of the best weekly newsletters you’ll ever read. They host a group trail run/meet up every Saturday at Harbison State Forest, right off of Broad River Rd, in the front gravel parking lot. The main group run begins at 7AM with only slight adjustments when needed to allow for daylight.  A few people sometimes run an earlier loop at 5:40 AM with headlamps. Some of the HTR ladies also run Sundays at 7AM. Other runs are coordinated on the Facebook page, including the “Hairy Bison Run” every Saturday before Thanksgiving. If nothing else, buy the annual shirts.

Newsletter Signup: “The Harbison Picayune”

Team Utopia South

A training group with a weekly schedule of speed workouts and the assistance of a certified coach. Dues are ~ $60/yr and you receive a team racing singlet and a monthly training plan applicable to your goals. Website has a number of useful links and information

Girls on the Run (GOTR)

Its mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. For more information, visit the website,

Run Hard

The Run Hard club is an eight week running club for Elementary and Middle Schoolers that equips students to run a 5K. During the season, students train twice a week for about 1.5 hours with a focus on endurance training and the Run Hard Core Values.

F3 Nation

F3 stands for “Fitness, Fellowship and Faith.” Multiple small groups offer free, participant-led workouts for men. Different groups have different areas of focus (including running). Find one in your area that interests you.

FIA (Females In Action)

The female counterpart to F3 - Multiple small groups offer free, participant-led workouts for women. Different groups have different areas of focus (including running). Find one in your area that interests you.

Midlands Clubs

Usual Group Runs

Palmetto TRAC Club

Note re: Running Shoes: Local stores have a generous “return for full refund” policy on most gear, including shoes. Although some items may be found for a few dollars less at other places, these stores provide support for the local athletic community, so please support them when you can.

Fleet Feet

Often hosts training sessions, group runs, and various clinics. Free gait analysis and knowledgeable footwear recommendations. Very “beginner-friendly” place to start with the proper gear. (Located off I-26 near Irmo)

Strictly Running

Sponsors and hosts numerous races and group runs throughout the year. Good source for finding local races. Shop is located on Devine St just up from Five Points.

Strictly Running Event Calendar


Huge online resource for races and fairly short articles on training, tips, and motivation. Mainly for running and cycling. Navigation can be a little tricky. Email newsletter lists area races and new articles without being too lengthy. Good resource for beginner runners and cyclists.

Runners’ World

Range of information for newbies to veterans. Reports on runners, racers, nutrition, training, and gear (especially shoes). Also on Facebook. (My one criticism - their email newsletter is mainly a sales pitch.)

Trail Runner

Similar to Runners World but (wait for it ...) for trail runners:  Reports on runners, racers, nutrition, training, and gear (especially shoes). Also on Facebook. (Also - their email newsletter is mainly a sales pitch.) They regularly have subscription specials to the magazine.

Running in the USA

Easy race search site with useful search parameters. Seems to pick up almost all of the available races.

Carolina Runner

Race search and report site; mainly for races in the upstate and N.C.

Additional Facebook suggestions:

“Palmetto TRAC Club” (of course)

Trail and Ultra Running

Discount Codes for Races


5:45am and 7am from Starbucks in 5 Points (Columbia)

5:15am, 6:20am (main group), and 7:40am start times. From Lexington High School parking lot

7am  Harbison State Forest Trail (meet in front parking lot)


7am at Harbison State Forest (trail)


5AM  621 Ninjas - hill workout (location varies)

5:45pm Team Utopia South track workout (location varies, check website)

5:45pm Monday Moonlight Runners – location varies; email to be added to the notice list

6pm in Sumter - Palmetto Oyster House

6pm Riverfront Park (6-8 miles, easy pace, led by Shawanna White)

6:30pm British Bulldog Pub (Bower Parkway - RUI Group)


6:30pm Fleet Feet track workout at Irmo High School


5AM  621 Ninjas - Owens Field Track (speed workout)

5:45pm Team Utopia South workout (location varies, check website)


5:45pm Team Utopia South workout (location varies, check website)

6:00pm Columbia SC Christian Runners
Riverfront Park

7pm Swamp Cabbage Brewery 921 Brookwood Drive, Columbia (off Bluff Rd near stadium)


5:30am  621 Ninjas -Earthfare (easy run)