The only running criterium race in America, Main Street Crit brings fitness and festivities to downtown Columbia, SC this Saturday evening, December 8, 2012. This race has drawn several of the country's elite runners are registered, including Bobby Mack from Raleigh, NC (6th overall finisher at Cooper River Bridge Run) and Alissa McKaig (member of the World XC Team in 2011).

But that's not all this event will bring to downtown Columbia. Kids will race (1K) at 7 PM with the open race (8K) starting at 7:30, and the elite race starts at 9 PM. With live music on each corner of the race course, Soda City Farmer's Market vendors, and Santa taking wish lists - there's no better place to be.

Of course, one has to wonder: who first had the idea that running in circles, downtown, under the lights was a something Columbia was ready for? Curious, I took my questions straight to two of the race founders, Amos Disasa and Henry Moore:

Q: What inspired you to bring the first running criterium race in the country to downtown Columbia?

Amos: Columbia is home. It's not perfect but it's also not done being perfected. We had a unique idea about racing under the lights downtown that showcased the kind of city we think Columbia will grow up to be. Waiting for someone else to make the future happen now and 'talking' about it incessantly would be easy but boring. So we decided to do it instead. 

Henry: I believe we have a real healthcare and obesity problem facing our state (and country). I believe First Lady Obama's and the City of Columbia's "Let's Move" initiative is an important one - especially for our state. We need to be proactive about not only our children's health but our own by eating right and staying activeâ?¦ We wanted to do something fun and different that would engage the spectator while giving Columbia a unique and signature event. The "criterium" >Post Timey String Band, Major to Minor, Tim Shel, and Pocket Buddha
  • EAT FOOD: Vendors from Soda City Farmer's Market will be on location, including Crepes and Croissants. Paradise Ice on Main Street will open and Cromer's will be onsite with popcorn.
  • DRINK BEER: 2108 State Street is hosting a beer truck for celebration after you cross the finish line.
  • SEE SANTA: That's right; the jolly old man will be at Main Street Crit taking wish lists from everyone.
  • BE DIFFERENT: Run in circles, downtown, under the lights. 

  • We hope to see you there!

    Guest blog post submitted by Jeannie Sullivan. Keep up with Main Street Crit on Facebook and find out more at