If I were to pick one Greenville road race to do during the year, the TD Bank Reedy River Run would be it. The race gets a great turnout, there are lots of spectators, it’s well organized, and you get to run through some great sections of downtown Greenville.
What you need to know about the race
- There’s a 10k and 5k race, as well as a 1-mile kids fun run
- The race typically sells out, so you should register early
- You get a discount if you’re a member of the Greenville Track Club (find out about that here)
- No refunds (though they will let you transfer an entry to the next year)
Why this is a race worth running
I’ll mostly be focusing on the 10k here, but everything applies more or less to the 5k. The 10k is the marquee race of the day, which means that most of the day’s hoopla focuses on the 10k. But if you’re not ready for a 10k, the 5k is definitely worth running as well.
Part of what makes the Reedy River 10k so great is the size of the race. It’s a pretty large race for a smaller-city 10k at 1,500 participants. That means you feel like you’re part of something big. But it’s not quite big enough that it feels crowded on the course, and they use a wave start, which further cuts down on crowding.
The size of the race also brings a lot of spectators to the race, so you get a lot of extra boosters from cheering crowds throughout.
If you ask me though, the best part of the race is the location. The race starts on S. Main Street, right in the middle of downtown. You loop up to Richardson Street, run down to Main Street, double back to McBee. You then cut down McBee, then Washington St. until reaching Cleveland Park. You then run through Cleveland Park before connecting up to the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Finally, you ascend the long hill next to the Governor’s School (more on that in a moment!) before sprinting in to the finish.
If you live in Greenville or are familiar with it, maybe that all makes sense. If you don’t, here’s what it means: you get run through downtown Greenville with the roads blocked off and cover some really nice paved trails through Greenville’s downtown parks. It’s a really nice course.
Will you PR on this race?
Well, it’s possible. I’ve set my own 10k PR on the Reedy River 10k, but that’s mainly because I don’t run many 10k’s.
If you’re someone that hasn’t run too many 10k’s, this race could be a good one to start with. As mentioned above, it’s a nice course. And since it’s not an overly easy course, you may have an easy time getting a new PR on an easier course after running Reedy!
But if regularly run 10k’s and are looking to set a PR, this may not be the race to do it. There are some relatively long straightaways through the downtown streets, which helps, but some sections of the paved trail aren’t especially fast. There’s also a few small hills and one fairly challenging hill (challenging for a 10k) at the end of the race.
What else should you know about the TD Bank Reedy River Run?
If you’re a seasoned runner looking for a good challenge, the Reedy River Run usually attracts a speedy field. And there are cash prizes for top 10 men and women. There are also bonuses for running under certain time thresholds or setting the course record.
I’ve mentioned the hill at the end a few times now. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a pretty gnarly hill for a 10k. But don’t let that put you off. It’s a good challenge and makes you feel even more of an accomplishment when you finish.
That said, if you’re thinking about pacing for the race, do take that final hill into account. You’ll want a little punch left in the tank to tackle that hill.
You may notice that you run on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. If you’re not familiar with Greenville, it’s worth pointing out, as I mentioned above, that this is a paved trail. So you don’t have to worry about running on dirt trails on this race.