A mini-race was held ahead of an annual race through the Vulcan Materials Quarry.

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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The Vulcan quarry in Columbia's Olympia neighborhood has been in the same place for nearly 150 years, but rarely does anyone from the public get a look inside.

It's been used as a dig site for construction materials, and is the site of a three mile race later in April.

It's more than 400 feet below sea-level, and the rocky terrain is no picnic to walk through, so imagine running it.

The group of people who ran the 'mini-crusher run' did just that.

"The preview was great, ready for the race," said Scott Brewer, who ran the mini-race. "It actually motivated me more. Runners are a different breed and we like the challenge, and this is definitely going to be a challenging event."

For the past three years, Columbia runners have been challenged to run more than 3.5 miles and much of it at a 10 percent grade.

The Mini-Crusher run was held for the first time this year ahead of the full race.

The Mini-Crusher is only about half of what the full race is.

From the surface, where the race starts, to the bottom, is about 500 ft. down.

Vulcan Manager Bob Johnson admits running is not in his repertoire, but because it brings the small community together, he's all for it.

"I enjoy being part of this community," Johnson said. "One of the first things I did when I got here, I said 'what do we do for the community,' and no one could tell me what they did."

The race is held the same day as the Olympia Fest in the neighborhood April 26.

Most of the proceeds from this race will go back toward improvement in that area, Johnson said.

You can go to http://quarrycrusherrun.com and http://olympiafest.com for more information.

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