About Us

The Governor’s Cup Road Race is coordinated by a team of experienced race managers, all of whom have extensive backgrounds as runners themselves.  The Governor’s Cup is operated by the Carolina Marathon Association which has been conducting major running events in Columbia since 1977.  The Carolina Marathon Association’s motto has always been, “Our events are managed by runners for runners.”  That is true of the Lexington Medical Center Governor’s Cup Road Race which we expect to meet the highest standards for competitive running events. Our leadership team:

Committee Members

Russ Pate, Event Director

Russ Pate – Event Director

Russ is a professor with the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.  He is responsible for overall management of the Governor’s Cup.

Katie Miller

Katie Miller – Event Manager

Katie Miller is the Event Manager for the Governor’s Cup Road Race. In that role she is responsible for week-to-week coordination of the overall event with special focus on communication activities, community relations, marketing and promotion, registration and volunteer management. Katie has over 15 years of professional experience with event planning and management. She currently teaches Event and Wedding Planning at Midlands Technical College.

Jennifer Bozzo

Jennifer Bozzo – Media Relations Coordinator

Jennifer Bozzo is an Event Manager at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center under Experience Columbia SC. She is a Clemson Tiger Alumna and enjoys being outdoors, running, spending quality time with family and friends, involvement in her faith, and traveling. Jennifer has participated in many statewide races and has great connections through the racing and non-racing community.

Dawn Catalano

Dawn Catalano – Spirit Corp Coordinator

Dawn, a public relations/marketing/fund development consultant, is responsible for recruiting and organizing our Spirit Corps groups since its inception.


Kathryn Cavenaugh

Katheryn Cavanaugh – Elite Athletes

Kathryn is the Assistant Solicitor with Richland County.   She is responsible for qualifying, securing, and hospitality of Invited Athletes.

Kerry McIver

Kerry McIver Cordan – Kids Main Street Mile

Kerry is the Measurement Coordinator for the Children’s Physical Activity Research Group in the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina.  She responsible for Kids Main Street Mile event promotions and operations.

Derek McFarland

Derek McFarland – Finish Line Environment

Derek McFarland is responsible for the finish area for the Governor’s Cup Road Race. He is a Clemson and Vanderbilt alum as well as an executive from the packaging industry. Derek is a marathoner, formerly with Second City Track Club in Chicago and is currently a member of Team Utopia South here in Columbia.

Mark Stout

Mark Stout – Race Operations  

Mark Stout is the Program Supervisor for Cardiac Rehabilitation at Lexington Medical Center – Irmo. He also has a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from USC.  He is responsible for race operations which includes our race courses, police, coning, aids stations, course monitors, and race timing.

Key Volunteers

Clara Beaudet

Clara Beaudet – Course Logistics

I am a teacher in Richland School District Two. I have been an educator for 21 years and have a Masters Degree in Divergent Learning from Columbia College. I am an avid runner and ultra marathoner. I ran track and cross country in high school and currently coach an after school running program for girls grades 3-5. I completed my first 100 mile race in April 2021. I love running trails, meeting new people and sharing my passion for building a strong community of runners. I am a member of Team Red White and Blue (Team RWB) which is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity, a member of Columbia Running Club since 2018, Upstate Ultras South Carolina Ultra Marathon (SCUM) and Harbison Trail Runners.

Mark Benedabaugh

Mark Benedabaugh – Main Street Mile

Mark Benedabaugh ran Track & Cross Country and Track at Brookland-Cayce High School (Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1998), then went to Francis Marion University (Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2003), and has coached at Pelion High School for 35 years (Inducted into South Carolina Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2019).

The very first Road Race that Mark ever ran in was the 1980 Governor's Cup 5 miler! He has run in it dozens of times since then.

Tina Emerson

Tina Emerson – Main Street Merchants

Tina Emerson is the Chief Marketing Officer for Nexus Pruet. Tina is very active in the community and serves on several boards and committees. She is an avid runner and habitual morning person, Tina is always planning her next race and waking before dawn to get moving. When the sun comes up, she and her husband, Heyes Emerson, are usually driving their two active children to sports practices and traveling as much as time allows.


Phil Peterson – Registration & Packet Pick-up

A native of San Francisco, California, Phil Peterson relocated with his family to New Jersey as a teenager, where he became a three sport athlete in high school. After winning three NJ state championships in cross country and track, he attended The Pennsylvania State University where he continued his running career. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Marine Corps where he served for 6 years as an infantry officer. He has since resided in the southeast, the last 31 in Columbia. Upon retirement from his business career, he continued his running and road racing career with the Strictly Running Racing Team in Columbia. He has coached runners through the adult programs at Strictly Running, and also young aspiring runners at three local high schools: Dutch Fork, Richland Northeast and Eau Claire. Retired from competitive running he still coaches privately and assists at local road race events. Phil is married to Janina, his wife of 46 years, and has two adult daughters in Tennessee, both of whom were also competitive runners at Spring Valley HS.

Ronda Sanders

Rhonda Sanders – Awards

Ronda Sanders is a senior instructor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of South Carolina. She is also the Assistant Director of the College of Arts and Sciences Incubator for Teaching Innovation. She has been a member of Team Utopia South since 2018 and a member of Columbia Running Club since 2016.