After you've had your fill of collards and black eyed peas, we have the perfect resolution for you! Make a resolution to get in shape and start training for the Columbia SC Marathon. Having not held a marathon since the Women's US Olympic Team Trials in 2000, the city of Columbia is set to host its first marathon in 12 years. The 2012 Columbia SC Marathon, Famously Hot Half-Marathon, Surprisingly Cool 10K, and Columbia SC Kids Marathon, presented by YMCA of Columbia, will take place on March 10, 2012.

The Columbia region's beautiful southern scenery serves as the backdrop for the inaugural 2012 Columbia SC Marathon. Famous for reaching tip top temperatures during the late summer months, springtime in Columbia proves to be the perfect, moderate temperature for runners to enjoy this all paved, road race.

Starting at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, the first leg of the race takes runners through the popular Congraee Vista district, rich with a variety of restaurants, art galleries and retailers. Located along the banks of the Congaree River, the Congaree Vista was once a vital warehouse district filled with textile mills and railroad stations. Today it is once again a center of activity in the city.

The course continues through parts of South Carolina's largest public university, the University of South Carolina. If runners glance to the right during their cross over Assembly Street, they will see where the Fighting Gamecocks play, Williams-Brice Stadium! The Columbia campus is the university's flagship campus and boasts traditional southern architecture with beautiful landscaping. The ever-expanding campus has more than 350 programs of study for almost 30,000 students from all over the globe.

Continuing into Five Points, participants run through the historic neighborhoods of Shandon, Sherwood Forest, Heathwood and Lake Katherine, all showcasing homes and bungalows with Southern charm, class and character. The Five Points area has been a shopping and commercial district for more than 75 years. This charming City Village has remained a popular destination for all ages to shop and dine, and is also the heart of nightlife for area college students. Shandon is a vibrant, multi-generational community whose homes reflect one hundred years of architectural heritage. The wide, tree-lined streets are favorites of residents and others who stroll, walk, jog or run, while the neighborhood children and adults enjoy the pleasant parks spaced throughout the urban suburb.

After completing the portion of the course near gorgeous Lake Katherine, runners will make their way back toward downtown Columbia, running along popular Trenholm Road. This area is a diner's dream, offering restaurants specializing in authentic Mexican, Italian, Asian and American cuisine.

Before heading back into the Congraee Vista area, where marathon runner's will start their second loop, runners will continue on Gervais Street, running pass the South Carolina State House. Right in the hub of downtown Columbia, the copper domed South Carolina State House houses the government of South Carolina. Construction began on the structure in 1851, and damage to the building from General Sherman's cannons is marked with bronze stars. The State House serves as an anchor facing the thriving Main Street corridor; a street filled with unique restaurants, retail shops, rooftop bars and Columbia's Museum of Art.

The last mile of the course will take runners back through the University of South Carolina campus on Pickens Street, Greene Street and Sumter Street and past well-known campus landmarks including, The Russell House, Longstreet Theater and The Horseshoe. Part of USC's original campus dates back to 1805 and is still the heart of the University. The 11 buildings that make up the tradition-rich Horseshoe frame a lush lawn that is an irresistible gathering place for students, faculty, local residences and alumni.

A block of rooms have been reserved for March 8-11, 2012 at the Hilton Columbia Center and Hampton Inn Downtown Historic District. The special room rate will be available until February 9 or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first. Both the Hilton and Hampton Inn are located just 1 block from the Marathon and Half-Marathon start. Additional hotels in the surrounding area are also available.