The Carolina Marathon Association is retiring the Lexington Medical Center Heart and Sole Women’s Five Miler. After cancelling the women’s only road race and walk in April of 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization announced its decision to retire the event permanently.
“A number of factors influenced our decision, primarily the closure of Finlay Park,” says Russell Pate, president of the Carolina Marathon Association. “The event has always been held in downtown Columbia with a large, outdoor wellness expo in the park. With Finlay Park closed for construction for the next several years and the numerous challenges created by COVID-19, we felt it was best to retire the event.”
Pate says the Heart and Sole Women’s Five Miler made a tremendous impact on women’s health during its 18-year history. “Women’s participation in organized running events has grown enormously in recent years, and in South Carolina, the Heart and Sole Women’s Five Miler was a key factor in facilitating this trend.” Pate added, “The Carolina Marathon Association expresses its deepest appreciation to event director Jeanna Moffett for her creative and dedicated leadership of this wonderful event.
“We are also grateful for the community’s support of this unique and beloved annual run and walk. Thousands of women across the state participated in the Heart and Sole event since its creation in 2002. We are proud of our efforts to create greater awareness of heart disease in women and to encourage healthy lifestyles. We believe this event made an important contribution to the health of women in our community.”
Pate expresses his appreciation for the event’s long-time sponsors: Lexington Medical Center, WIS Television, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. He says the Carolina Marathon Association’s board of directors plans to explore the possibility of creating a new signature event that aligns with the organization’s mission of promoting health and fitness. The organization will continue to conduct the Governor’s Cup Road Race, which has been held annually in Columbia since 1973.
The Carolina Marathon Association is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles. The organization is recognized for its expertise in hosting exceptional running events in the Midlands, including several national championship races and the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials: Women’s Marathons.
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