Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

July 5, 2013

The Valdosta 5K Celebrates Freedom

VALDOSTA —  The Eighth Annual Valdosta 5K was run early Thursday morning south along Patterson Street to the Talk 92.1 FM Radio Valdosta's studio perched atop the Firm Fitness Center in downtown Valdosta.

The Valdosta 5K, run each year on the Fourth of July, is a race that gives local runners a chance to honor veterans on the most Patriotic day of the year.

All of the proceeds to the 5K benefit the Lowndes Veterans Council.

“It’s such a great day,” Todd Smoot, race coordinator, said. “Making donations to vets, celebrating vets, what better way to celebrate in a military town. It’s tough to coordinate, but it’s all worth it. It’s a labor of love.”

Runners gathered at the registration table in the Winn-Dixie Marketplace at 6:45 in the morning, eating bananas to avoid cramps, drinking water, and stretching in preparation of the race.

Veterans took racing numbers between 1-100, active duty military wore numbers 101-200, and civilians wore numbers 201 and above.

At 7:15, the runners took off down Patterson with a police escort rerouting traffic behind them.

Less than 18 minutes and about 3.1 miles later, fifteen year-old Wright Calhoun of Americus was the first runner to cross the finish line of this year’s 5K.

Calhoun, a sophomore at Southland Academy, has been running for two years now, and taking the sport seriously for the last year and a half.

Calhoun, who runs a 5K about every two weeks, doesn’t want to give away any of his training techniques to potential racing rivals.

“(My training regiment) that’s a secret,” Calhoun said. “I can’t let anyone catch me, but I’ll tell you one thing, the more mileage the better.”

Mary Alice Smoot, 17, was the top overall female winner on the day.

“I have not trained for speed in awhile,” Mary Alice Smoot said. “I’m just trying to get ready for my last cross country season at Valwood.”

Smoot was a popular name on Thursday, as Alice Smoot, mother of Mary Alice, was the Female Masters winner.

The first 25 male and female racers to finish received their award in the finish chute. $50 cash awards will be mailed to the Top Overall, Master and Veteran Male and Female.

The Valdosta 5K has managed to raise between $18,000-19,000 for local veterans in the last eight years.

Visit www.runningintheusa.com to views dates and register for future races.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Blazers to play three games on GSC-TV

    Valdosta State will play three televised games this fall, the Gulf South Conference announced Wednesday as it released its GSC-TV schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • 2014 World Championships 216 (640x427).jpg Best of the Best

    The students of Performance Martial Arts Academy continue to rack up accolades and after a weekend in Little Rock, Ark., those accolades include the title of world champion.
    Mark Webb and Madison Swain both earned world championships at the American Taekwondo Association's Taekwondo World Championships a few weeks ago. Four other Performance Martial Arts students also competed in the event.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Berrien practice 1a.jpg Moving forward

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Falcons_Ryan.jpg Ryan takes teaching role for Falcons offense

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bridgestone_Tiger.jpg Woods faces 2 big weeks that shape rest of season

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.
     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.
     

    July 28, 2014

Blazers Blog
More