Peach Stand Road Race coming May 27
By Jason A. Smith
Locust Grove is continuing a tradition of inviting local runners to help raise money for ongoing improvements to the area.
The 11th annual Peach Stand Road Race 5K and One-Mile Fun Run is set for May 27, beginning at 8 a.m. Registration is $25 in advance or $30 on the day of the event.
Runners line up at the start of a prior Peach Stand Road Race. File photo
Proceeds from the race directly fund a façade grant program and other beautification projects for the city, said Locust Grove Main Street Manager Anna Williams Ogg. One such project that the city is working to complete, she noted, is a new mural in Mayor’s Walk Park.
“The mural is a restoration of a mural that was on there historically,” said Ogg. “It’s an ad for Snow Drift Shortening. We made the mural from paint fragments that survived on the brick.”
Main Street Locust Grove is partnering with R&M Insurance as part of the beautification project. Ogg said the mural will add interest to the park for those who visit the area.
The race route will kick off at 61 Jackson Street and loop around the Locust Grove Conference Center, to Davis Lake Road and Mose Brown Drive before finishing up on Bowden Street. Ogg said the annual race grows in popularity each year, and that this year’s race, in particular, has the potential to help runners seeking to participate in other events as well.
“We are working to certify the course so that people can use their time to qualify for larger road races such as the Peachtree Road Race,” said Ogg. “We know that many of our runners set records for their personal best on our course.”
More than 200 people participated in last year’s Peach Stand Road Race. One of them who plans to run again this year is Sherry Moon of Locust Grove. A resident of the city since 1997, Moon said she has run the race each year since it started, and that she enjoys checking out the area’s scenery while she runs.
“I am not an avid runner,” admitted Moon, 69. “In fact, this is the only 5K that I participate in. I enjoy this race because it is ‘home town.’ The participants of the first race are quite different to the serious runners of the last couple of years. Although there are more and more serious runners, there are still some of us that just like the scenery and our ‘slower’ pace. It’s just an enjoyable and peaceful race.”
Moon was previously in charge of the Peach Stand Road Race and has continued to support it in recent years. She said the race has grown considerably since that first race 20 years ago.
“I did not organize the very first race, but was in charge for several years,” she said. “Being the ‘boss’ could be stressful, but I always enjoyed the fact that people seemed to have a good time.”
To register for the race online, visit www.itsyourrace.com.