5K starts weekend of Darlington Raceway events
DARLINGTON, S.C. — More than 100 runners hit the track at Darlington Friday evening for a 5K under the lights at the Lady in Black.
The Darlington Raceway 5K Presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors course started on pit road at the start/finish line, wound around the track, through the main tunnel, around the outside of the track, through the secondary vehicle tunnel and then finished on the track at the finish line.
“It’s an opportunity for people in this area and community to come out and run or walk under the lights at the Track Too Tough to Tame. I don’t think we’ve ever had an event quite like this before,” said Kerry Tharp, Darlington Raceway president.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee in memory of Florence police Sgt. Terrence Carraway who died in the line of duty on Oct. 3 while backing up Florence County sheriff’s deputies who were trying to serve a search warrant at a home in the Vintage Place Subdivision. Deputy Farrah Turner died Oct. 22 from wounds she suffered in the same shooting.
“You all are the ones making this happen. That’s going to go in memory of Sgt. Terrence Carraway,” Tharp told a cheering crowd awaiting the start of the race.
“We’ve had a lot of cars out here on Darlington racetrack but I can’t think of another car that means more to this community than that car out there,” Tharp said of Carraway’s Florence police cruiser parked just past the start/finish line.
Carraway’s widow, Allison Carraway, and about a dozen family members were on hand to cheer runners on.
The race was run under good running weather, Tharp said. The temperature was 65 degrees as a heavy mist hung in the air at the track.
Ryan Plexico was the overall winner of the race. The FMU graduate, who won the race four years ago, crossed the finish line at 17:48 — more than a minute ahead of second-place finisher James Belt who crossed at 18:52.
Anna Guyan, eighth place overall, was the first female runner across the finish line with a time of 21:44.
Friday night’s race is the first of three weekend events at the track.
Today at 10 a.m. Speed and Feed will open at the track with a car show and barbecue cook-off, Tharp said.
The event will be free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Individual tickets will be sold for the barbecue tasting, which starts at 11 a.m. Tickets will be $1 per ticket or 12 for $10.
“We’re proud to be hosting this event for the sixth consecutive year,” Tharp said. “The Speed and Feed BBQ Cook-Off and Car Show will feature great barbecue and a car show for our community to enjoy. Fall is known for many great festivals, and our race track helps make this a unique event. Thank you to Raldex and their hotels for serving as the presenting sponsor of this event.”
The cook-off again will be sanctioned by the South Carolina BBQ Association, one of the premier barbecue organizations in the nation, and it will feature some of the top cooking teams in the region. The teams will be vying to win the coveted $2,000 first-place prize.
The event also will feature driving experiences in actual race cars through the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, which will be on site.