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Practice Information
Team Utopia South meets on Monday and Thursday nights for speed workouts, and on Saturday mornings for long runs. Practice locations and times are always changing, so please be sure to check the main page regularly for the most up-to-date information. If you are not an official member of Team Utopia South, feel free to attend a few of our practices and group runs. It will give you a chance to experience the feel of our group, how we tackle tough speed workouts, and a sense of our commitment to team comradery. Questions? Contact coach Justin Bishop at
The "Unofficial" Rules of Team Utopia South:
#1 - No walking
#2 - No whining
#3 - Nobody runs alone
#4 - Practice is NEVER cancelled
#5 - You must trust coach
#6 - If this is your first day running with us, you have to have fun
The USC Track The USC Track: Located at 199 S. Marion St. in Columbia 29205 next to the brand new Gamecocks Softball Stadium. We use the track for speed workouts after warming up on the roads. The facility often has port-a-pottys available to the public, but best to still plan ahead for that issue.
Owens Field Track Owens Field Track: Located at 1351 Jim Hamilton Blvd. in Columbia 29205 near the Jim Hamilton-LB Owens Airport. This track is a good alternative to the USC track when the Gamecocks are holding events at their track. However, many high schools use the Owens Field track for their home meets in the spring.
Riverfront Park Riverfront Park: Located at the end of Laurel St. (100 Laurel Street) in Columbia 29201. Riverfront Park is on the Richland County side of the Congaree River, and provides a little over 3 miles of flat, paved bike paths. This location is ideal in the winter because the path is extremely well lit, has emergency phones, bathrooms, and water fountains..... and no cars.
Forest Acres Forest Acres (Trenholm/Forest Dr.): The back parking lot of the First Citizens Bank at 4801 Forest Dr. plays host as the starting line to many local races including Cold Winter's Day 5k, Born In The USA 4 mile, and the Resurrection 5K. A very peaceful neighborhood with plenty of rolling hills to make for a good run.

Cold Winter's Day 5K/Resurrection 5K course map
Born In The USA 4 mile course map
Jack and Jane Sport Jack and Jane Sport: Located at 2900 Devine Street, this running apparel store acts as a clubhouse for Utopians on Thursday nights in the summer. It is located very close in proximity to the Hot Summer Night 5K course. The store rests on the corner of Devine and Holly Streets in the Shandon neighborhood of Columbia.
Lake Murray Dam Lake Murray Dam: Part of US Highway 6 that connects Lexington to Irmo, the dam is 2 miles of flat running ground. Parking lots are on both the Irmo and Lexington side of the dam and are connected by a 10 foot wide, 2 mile long bike path. A very popular place for runners and cyclists, but a very windy place to run.
Sesquicentennial State Park Sesquicentennial State Park: Located at 9564 Two Notch Road in Columbia, 29223, it's affectionately known to locals as "Sesqui". This spacious, green getaway is in the heart of the Sandhills region. It has 1,400 acres, camping sites, 2 nature trails, and a 6 mile bike trail. There is a $2 admission for adults.
Harbison State Forest Harbison State Forest: Located at 5600 Broad River Road in Columbia 29212, Harbison holds 2137 acres of land including has 18 miles of trails designed for walking, jogging, hiking and bicycling that range from moderately easy to difficult. Parking passes are required but can be purchased at the park. I strongly recommend bringing a map of the trails if its your first time.
Cayce Riverwalk Cayce Riverwalk: Located near 300 Alexander Road in West Columbia 29169, (just of the Gervais St. Bridge) an amphitheater marks one end of the 3 mile Cayce Riverwalk. Plenty of winding, paved paths for 3 miles that connect West Columbia to the City of Cayce. Bathrooms and water fountains are available on the path.
Shandon Neighborhood Shandon Neighborhood: Another quiet neighborhood that plays host to so many races in Columbia. Hand Middle School is the "unofficial" center of Shandon at the intersection of Duncan St. & Woodrow. Not too many elevation changes in Shandon which leads to alot of fast times being recorded in races held here.