Cooling temperatures have ushered in the opportunity to slip on some running shoes and stride toward fitness goals while helping to raise awareness for worthy causes.
Registration is open for the third annual Sunbury 5K, which is 10 a.m. Oct. 6 at Sunbury Crab Company. The event benefits the American Diabetes Association and the Wounded Warriors Project.
Registration is $30; participants can register online at fleetfeetsavannah.com/sunbury-5K
Race founder and organizer Patrick Boyle said the run had an average of 140 runners and walkers the past two years. Boyle, who has lived in Sunbury for about 15 years, said the course is easy for beginners and offers breathtaking views of the Sunbury coast and Fort Morris State Park.
Boyle said Robert Espinosa from Fleet Feet Savannah will mark out the course and supply timers for runners seeking to beat their best personal times or race against others. “For many people who don’t actively run or exercise, the thought of an organized race can be overwhelming,” Boyle said. “We really want to encourage anyone to get out and move. We love both our racers and our walkers. In fact, we probably have just as many walkers as runners.”
Boyle, who has competed in several 5Ks, said he decided to support the ADA and the WWP because they are organizations that many people can associate with.
“I have a number of family members who do have either type 1 or 2 diabetes, so this is something very important to me,” Boyle said. “As far as the WWP, you can’t live in this area and not be very aware of the sacrifice our military makes on a daily basis. I travel a lot for my job, and seeing deployed soldiers reunited with their family at the Savannah airport is always moving. So we’re happy to help, even in this small way, the men and women who are serving and in particular those who are injured projecting our freedoms.”
The race took place in September the past two years, but Boyle said waiting an extra week and having a later start time this year will help make it easier for more people to participate.
“We like that our race starts at 10 a.m. instead of the normal 8 a.m., so we wanted to make sure it was nice and cool (moving it to October),” Boyle said. “Plus, we can enjoy some fresh shrimp and crab at the Crab Company right after the race when they open for lunch.”
Boyle said the race would not be possible without the support of his presenting sponsor Bubba Grinstead of Merritt & Grinstead Attorneys at Law and sponsors Darsey Black and Associates in Hinesville and Sunbury Crab Company owner Barney Maley.
Boyle said his wife, Mia, illustrates the logo each year, while Bradwell Institute teacher Jim Collins does the final graphic illustration work to create the posters and logos.
But Boyle said the entire race is driven by community involvement from people who love to run, walk and support the ADA and WWP.
“This is truly a Liberty County effort,” Boyle said.
For more information, call 884-7317.