This past weekend I took to the streets with roughly 45 other running enthusiasts for a sneak peak at the 2012 'Famously Hot' Columbia SC Marathon course. From the beginning, the course wakes you up with a steep incline up Blossom Street on the campus of the University of South Carolina. Me being the, 'wanna be really good runner, but just ok runner' that I am felt every step, but made it up the hill thanks to my running buddies Justin Bieber, Adele, Justin Timberlake and Rihanna. (Judgment is most definitely not allowed).

From there we started to wind in and through Old Shandon, and, after conquering the mammoth of a hill on Saluda (take this one slow my friends), I have to say it was a nice and pleasant run in this part of town. Looking at the unmatched charm and quaintness of the homes in this area made passing mile three and four bearable.

While there is a fairly long stretch of flat road along Kilbourne, it feels like it just won't end; like you're running into an abyss or something. I really had to crank up the jams, open up my stride and just go for it. Don't be fooled into thinking this is half way kids. You're really just getting started!

At the end of that long run, there is a much needed and beloved aid station at mile six. Having only run one half in the past, I love the aid stations. They're exciting when you see them on the horizon; like they are there just for you! 'Orange slice? Yes. Water? Yes. Granola bar? Well duh!! I, along with any new runners, should be careful at these aid stations. While they are there to help and hydrate, they aren't there to provide a four course meal. Grab a little bite (if you need it) and keep running!

While I didn't make it through the whole course (I'm still in training my friends) I did really appreciate seeing what I'm going to facing on the actual day of the race. I would encourage any and everyone planning on running the 10K, half or full marathon to come out to the next Columbia SC Marathon Preview Run, Saturday, February 4 at 7 a.m. at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. I'll see you on the course!