Koala Bottle Trail Run Series 2023

We are excited for this year's Koala Bottle South Carolina Trail Run Series! We had a phenomenal turnout in 2022 and we are striving to make the race bigger and better. More importantly, we were excited to see the running community continue to embrace our #gocupless initiative. The race series produced very little waste, which helped keep South Carolina's parks and trails clean. We hope that you will show up to our races with your bottle from last year. We want your experience at our events to be one that is environmentally sustainable and leaves no trace.

Similar to last year's format, the race series will take you across the beautiful state of South Carolina, into the mountains, the midlands, and the coast. Koala Bottle's events will provide you 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.

For 2022, we are resuming a normal race format, where everyone shows up on race day to run together. Yes! However, the two formats that we introduced last year – Open Race Format and Virtual Race Format – are still available if you cannot fit our events into your busy schedule.

If you are new to the Koala Bottle trail races, please be aware that you will not find disposal plastic bottles or paper cups at any of our supported races. Koala Bottle will provide water and Gatorade. However, you are encouraged to bring a reusable bottle to each event. If you forget your bottle, then we will have 21oz Koala Bottles available for purchase for $4 on race day. 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

Event date is on July 9, 2023

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 time:  7:00 A.M.

Event Address: Harbison State Forest, 5600 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29210

On-line Register prior to race day with Active.com or RunSignUp

Race Day registration: 6:30 A.M. at the Gazebo

Packet pick up is a Strictly Running on Devine Street on Saturday, July 9th from 11am until 4pm.

As stated above, bring your own bottle or purchase a Koala Bottle for $4 on race day.

Please check the Harbison State Forest website for hours of operation or planned closures.

Table Rock State Park 15k & 5k

Table Rock

Event date is August 12, 2023

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 receive a specially designed Koala Bottle race T-shirt featuring art work by the renown Sammy Lopez. Awards for the top three overall winners in the male and female categories as well as first place medals for each age group.

Start times:  7:30 A.M. for 15K and 7:35 for 5K

Race Day Registration: 6:30 A.M. at The Pinnacle Pavilion

Register for the Table Rock Race here!

As stated above, bring your own bottle or purchase a Koala Bottle for $3 on race day.

Huntington Beach State Park 15K & 5K

Event has been postponed, again :(

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: TBD

 As stated above, bring your own bottle or purchase a Koala Bottle for $3 on race day.