Mayor lauds first Palmetto Trail foot race—‘an awesome event’

COLUMBIA, SC — “What an awesome event to be held in our community,” Pomaria Mayor Darryl Hentz said about the successful first Palmetto Trail foot race that Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF) hosted recently.

Mayor Hentz added, “We are looking forward to more events taking place on this beautiful portion of the Trail.” He expressed a common theme among partners, sponsors and participants who want PCF’s True to the Brew Trail Run/Hike to repeat next year.

The event showcased a forested 6.5-mile section of the Palmetto Trail’s Peak to Prosperity Passage, a rails-to-trail conversion through historic Dutch Fork. More than 200 hundred runners and hikers registered for the Trail run/hike, and 192 registrants crossed the finish line. Participants started in Pomaria and raced down a gentle grade crisscrossing Crims Creek on 12 wood trestles before reaching the final 1,100 feet—the historic iron trestle bridge over Broad River. The finish line was the end of the trestle at Alston Trailhead Park in Fairfield County.

In addition to the Town of Pomaria, PCF worked with the following partners and sponsors to make the race possible: Grit Endurance, Edcon General Contractors, ByFarr Graphic Design, Outspokin’ Bicycles, RJ Rockers Brewing Company, Craft & Draft, Zpizza, Bone-In Barbeque, Food Lion and Trader Joe’s. Palmetto Trail enthusiasts are urged to support these sponsors, as well as local food banks. Race participants donated bags of canned goods to the Pomaria Food Bank.

Runners, hikers and dogs arrived at the Pomaria trailhead behind Wilson’s Store on a chilly Saturday before the sun topped the trees. Race managers from Grit Endurance checked everyone in and organized the group at the starting line with the fastest runners first and hikers with dogs in the rear. Runners set their stopwatches, the air horn sounded, and an electronic pad at the starting line recorded start times for everyone wearing a race tag. A similar pad recorded finish times at Alston.

Derek Hutton of Cayce was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 37:38.7 minutes. Hutton averaged 5:47 minutes per mile. Almost matching Hutton’s stride, Adam Feigh of Lexington came in second at 37:46.2 minutes. Drew Williams of Columbia captured third place at 40:23.3 minutes. The last hiker averaged 20-minute miles to cross the finish line in 2:10:22.4 hours.

“The True to the Brew Trail Run/Hike was a tremendously successful event,” Palmetto Conservation Executive Director Natalie Britt said. “Everyone I spoke to had a great time and is already looking forward to 2019.”

Thanks to Will Rowan of Hopkins for an awesome video of the race. His race highlights video, posted to YouTube, can be accessed from Facebook/PalmettoConservation. Or search YouTube “True to the Brew trail race” to access the highlights video, the full race video, and a follow-up race review.

Thanks also to the Palmetto Conservation Corps for directing traffic and to PCF staff and volunteers for handing out water along the Trail, operating shuttles between Alston and Pomaria, and serving food and beverages at the finish line.

Download maps and information about the Palmetto Trail and its mountains-to-sea passages at www.palmettoconservation.org.

About the Palmetto Trail

The scenic Palmetto Trail is one of 16 cross-state trails in the United States and is recognized regionally and nationally as a visitor-friendly attraction. The Trail inspires active, healthy living and showcases the state’s diverse natural beauty, fascinating history, and rich rural and urban culture. From mountains to sea, the Palmetto Trail connects Oconee County to Pickens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Union, Laurens, Newberry, Fairfield, Richland, Sumter, Clarendon, Orangeburg, Berkeley and Charleston counties. When finished, the Trail will extend about 500 continuous miles from Walhalla to Awendaw. With 27 completed passages and multiple trailheads, the Palmetto Trail is accessible from anywhere in the state for
day trips, weekend jaunts and longer treks. Passages are typically fewer than 15 miles in length, but range from 1.1 to 47 miles and feature wilderness and backcountry paths, urban bikeways, greenways, rails-to-trail conversions, city sidewalks, and even the steps of the State Capitol. The Trail connects private and public lands, state parks, national and state forests, Revolutionary and Civil War sites, and numerous cities, towns and communities. For information and downloadable maps of Palmetto Trail passages, and to become a Palmetto Conservation member and Trail supporter, visit www.palmettoconservation.org.

About Palmetto Conservation

The mission of Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF) is to conserve South Carolina’s natural and cultural resources, preserve historic landmarks, and promote outdoor recreation through trails and greenways. Founded in 1989, PCF is a statewide nonprofit organization with headquarters in Columbia. PCF’s largest and best-known project is building and maintaining the mountains-to-sea Palmetto Trail. In 2016, PCF inaugurated the Palmetto Conservation Corps to help interested young adults learn skills in trail maintenance and construction, assist with disaster recovery, and develop as the next generation of conservation stewards and leaders. The Palmetto Conservation Corps is South Carolina’s only trail-based AmeriCorps service program for young adults 18 to 25 years old. To learn more about Palmetto Conservation, the Palmetto Trail and the Palmetto Conservation Corps, visit www.palmettoconservation.org and Facebook/palmettoconservation, or call 803-771-0870.