We are excited to announce the inaugural Koala Bottle South Carolina Trail Run Series! Formerly known as Xterra, this series will continue to visit the same beautiful parks and scenic trails that you have run over years past.
Additionally, Koala Bottle’s location in Columbia, South Carolina and close relationship with the outdoor community will allow the race series to grow by offering more events throughout the state – in the mountains, the midlands, and the coast.
Koala Bottle’s events will provide an opportunity for you to explore and enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends and to challenge your fitness and your competitiveness, if that’s your thing. However, Koala Bottle wants your experience to be one that is environmentally sustainable and leaves no trace in the parks, so it is our plan for these events go cupless.
That’s right! At these events you will not find disposal plastic bottles or paper cups. Koala Bottle will provide water and Gatorade, and you are encouraged to bring a reusable bottle to each event. Available for each participant at the events will be a free 21oz Koala Bottle just in case you need one. Koala Bottle hopes that reusing a bottle becomes part of your daily lifestyle. Let’s race. Let’s have fun. Let’s keep our parks clean! And, let’s stay hydrated.
Harbison State Forest 5K & Half Marathon
July 7, 2019
Join us at Harbison State Forest for the Koala Bottle 5K & Half Marathon. Located a mere 8 miles from downtown Columbia, Harbison State Forest’s 2,200 acres of woodland is a paradise where urban growth and noise disappears. Visitors can enjoy 67 species of trees and a wide range of wildlife on the more than 20 miles of flowing trails for walking, biking, and running. Columbia’s famously hot downtown features many local dining hotspots and music venues music. So, consider extending your time in this historic southern town.
Start times: Half Marathon @ 7:00am and 5K @ 7:10am.
Packet Pickup at Strictly Running on July 6th from 11:00am to 4:00pm or race day at Harbison State Forest at 6:00am
Table Rock State Park 15k & 5k
August 18, 2019
Located on the doorstep of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in northwest South Carolina, this event features a scenic 5k course that is great for novice trail runners and experienced racers alike. The single-track trails meander along and across scenic Carrick Creek from the nature center as you climb toward Pinnacle Mountain. After a short climb, the 5k runners will race downhill, looping back toward the start/finish line. Up for more of a challenge? The steep terrain of the 15k race course will test even the most seasoned trail runners. It follows the same route as the 5k for the first two miles. However, the 15k course climbs nearly 2000 feet over the first 5 miles. You will struggle to make it over several gaps and reach the race’s high point of Pinnacle Mountain. As you descend you will be rewarded with spectacular views from Bald Rock and other overlooks. More stream crossings, gnarly roots and jagged rocks will keep you on your toes as you wind your way back down the valley toward the finish. All racers will welcome the sight of the finish line where there will be plenty of food and ice-cold drinks to replenish your body after a tough run. For your extraordinary effort you will received a finishers award and a specially design Koala Bottle race T-shirt featuring art work by the renown Sammy Lopez.
Start times: 15K @ 7:00 a.m. and 5K @ 7:35 a.m.
Huntington Beach State Park 15K & 5K
September 15, 2019
Huntington Beach State Park is located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, and it is arguably the most beautiful of the forty-seven state parks. The beautiful coast line and marshes are home to numerous species of birds including pelicans, spoonbills and painted buntings. As a result, the park is a popular birding destination. Located within the park is Atalaya, a National Historic Landmark, which was the home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington.
All runners will begin the event running along the 5K course, leaving from the start/finish area located a few hundred feet from the Atalaya building. This portion of the run will be on paved roads, but otherwise taking you through the canopy of old growth oak trees that are strewn throughout park. You will run along the beautiful causeway along Mullet Pond, a popular spot for birding and photography. The course turns onto the narrow pedestrian path that bisects Mullet and Mallard ponds. If you are lucky maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of an alligator at one of the lookout spots. But, keep running. This 5K course is flat and fast. At the end of the pedestrian path 5K runners will turn left for the finish line.
Rather than turning left at the Atalaya building for the finish line, the 15K runners will head straight for the beach where they will run two miles along one of the prettiest beaches in South Carolina. For this portion of the race, you can expect loose sand entering and exiting the beach but otherwise the sand will be firmly packed for most of this section. At the end of the beach you will turn left along the jetty and head for Drunken Jack Island, where you will pass through a gorgeous field of seagrass with views of the ocean off in the distance. After coming back to the beach for another half mile section, the 15K course will take you onto the Sandpiper Pond nature trail. Here you will enjoy the comforts of the shade from the beautiful old growth oak trees but watch out for their roots and several pockets of loose sand. You will run approximately 1.25 miles on Sandpiper until you reach the paved road that takes you straight to the finish line.
Your race entry fee also includes the park’s $5 entry fee. Any participants that come to the park with you must also pay the $5 entry fee. However, once inside the park everyone will be able to run, roam, and partake in all its beauty.
Start times: 5K @ 8:10 a.m. and 15K @ 8:00 a.m.
Packet pickup on Saturday, September 14th at Black Dog Running Company from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Oconee State Park 15K & 5K
Oconee State Park’s two lakes and rolling trails are picturesque year-round but will be exploding with fall colors on race day, October 6th, as autumn peaks in the upstate of South Carolina. How better to take in the change of seasons than to participate in a 5K or a 15K jaunt through the rolling hills and woods.
Both races start at The Barn where you will begin the run on the park’s namesake path, the Oconee Trail. The course meanders along this route for approximately 2 miles, where 5K runners turn left and run briefly along a paved road before picking up a connector trail that takes runners back toward the lakes and the finish line at The Barn. At this split, 15K runners turn right onto the Old Waterwheel Trail. After approximately a mile, 15K runners turn right onto the Palmetto Trail and run for approximately a mile before picking up a section that briefly conjoins with the Foothills Trail. Staying on the Palmetto Trail, runners veer left, running for several miles toward the northern section of the park. At the park’s parking lot, runners will turn south to run briefly on a paved road before picking up the Lake Trail. 15K runners will enjoy a lap and a half circling around the lake counter clockwise, gearing up for the final sprint to The Barn.
Oconee State Park has been under the leadership of Park Ranger Thomas ‘Zabo’ McCants for the past year and he has made numerous improvements and upgrades to the park. The cabins have never looked better and there are numerous recreational activities that are available for the whole family. Please consider not only coming to the park to run but also for a fun family outing in this amazing nature preserve.
Start times: 5K @ 7:30 a.m. and 15K @ 8:15 a.m.