READY, SET, GO!: Tryon Half-Marathon, 5K benefits local nonprofit

Published 11:35 am Monday, November 20, 2023

Annual event brings 200 runners to Harmon Field Saturday

TRYON—On Saturday morning, roughly 200 runners of all age groups and experience levels converged on Harmon Field to compete in the 11th annual Tryon Half-Marathon and, for the first time, a 5K run. All proceeds from the two races go to Thermal Belt Outreach of Columbus. 

The 5K kicked off around 8 a.m. with the national anthem sung by Michelle Reedy, followed by the start of the half-marathon, which featured a new route this year due to construction on River Rd. 

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The race started and finished at Harmon Field. The new figure-eight course sent runners down Highway 176 to Warrior Dr. and back to Harmon Field Park. They began the second loop of the figure-eight on Harmon Field Rd. toward the Lynn Post Office. The route then made its way down Clarence Rhodes Rd., Screven Rd., River Rd. and Highway 19, before returning to the bright green inflated finish line at Harmon Field. Local bicyclist Larry Riggs led the runners on the 5K, and Matt Brown and his daughter Jill Brown led the half-marathon by motorcycle.

William Butler, 28, from Ohio, won the men’s division and first place overall in the half-marathon with a time of 1:24:27. Emily Little, 22, of Atlanta, took home first place in the women’s division and second overall with a time of 1:28:45. Ethan Spencer, 15, of Travelers Rest won first place overall in the 5K with a time of 18:56. Sarah Codd, 18, of Tryon took home first place in the 5K female division with a time of 23:04. Winners in other age groups and divisions can be found on by searching Tryon Half-Marathon.

All finishers received a commemorative Finisher’s Medal made by local artists. Hannah Schuessler designed the clay medals and the wooden medals were made by Ray Buckmaster. The leaf medals were by Hank Heintzberger.  The Awards Ceremony for the 5K took place at 10 a.m., followed by the ceremony for the half-marathon beginning at 11. 

Many volunteers helped with the event. Volunteers Amelia and Enmanuel Medrano spent the morning directing traffic. 

“We volunteered because it seemed like a fun way to help out in the community,” Emmanuel said. Amelia added, “This was a great way to connect and meet new people.” 

5K participant Miranda Ryan said, “I’ve begun training for the Asheville Half-Marathon, and this seemed like a wonderful opportunity to get in some training in a beautiful area.”

Ashworth Financial and the Tryon Runner’s Club founded the race a decade ago to benefit Outreach, a local organization that serves Polk County families and individuals who need assistance with day-to-day necessities such as food, heat and housing

“We have about fifty wonderful volunteers,” said Outreach Event & Operations Manager Jessica Pace. ‘We also have tons of support from the community, which includes a delicious post-race breakfast that was completely donated by the community. We’re very thankful for our sponsors – Ashworth Financial Group, Artistry Above, Saluda Outfitters, Hometrust Bank, Yonder, Mountain Sky Builders, PRO Physical Therapy, Main Street Swimmer, Nature’s Storehouse and First Citizens Bank.”