Photo Credit: AthFest Educates
Get ready to run your Ath off at AthFest Educates’ fourth annual AthHalf half-marathon.
On Sunday, Oct. 20, the nonprofit organization, along with the National Bank of Georgia, will be host to a 13.1-mile race in and around downtown, the University of Georgia campus and the Eastside to help raise money for local music and arts education. It's expected to draw more than 3,000 runners, along with thousands more spectators.
Over the years, AthFest Educates has donated more than $100,000 to local music and arts education, and this is one of the group's two big fundraisers, says spokeswoman Rachel Allen. The money has gone toward purchasing musical instruments and art supplies for local students, field trips and other art-and music-related school programs.
The race starts at 7:30 a.m. on Clayton Street, winds through downtown Athens, then down South Milledge Avenue, back up Riverbend Parkway and College Station Road. After taking a lap around the inside of Sanford Stadium, runners will cross the finish line next to the Tate Student Center on campus.
Parts of the course will be closed as runners pass through. The Loop's South Milledge Avenue and College Station Road exits will still be open, but police have suggested taking an alternate route during the race.
This year's race will feature more live music. “Last year, we had bands every other mile, and this year we wanted to increase the connection,” Allen says.
Musicians will include: DJ Mahogany at Mile One, The Warm Fuzzies at Mile Two, Dodd Ferrelle and Adam Poulin at Mile Three, The Mob Corriellis Trio at Mile Four, Welfare Liners at Mile Five, Adam Klein and the Wild Fires at Mile Six, Dr. Arvin Scott at Mile Seven, Drew Kohl at Mile Eight, Connor Pledger at Mile Nine, Kyshona Armstrong at Mile 10, Station 42 at Mile 11, Timi Conley at Mile 12 and Old Skool Trio at the finish line.
Jarryd Wallace, a Paralympic track and field gold medalist, will be the grand marshall of the race. Wallace set a world-record time last July in the 200 meter dash to win the gold medal at the International Paralympic Committee Track & Field World Championships in Lyon, France.
Last year’s turnout brought 3,000 runners to the event. This year, the cap has increased, and organizers are expecting even more participants.
AthFest Director Jared Bailey describes the half-marathon as “an exciting race course in a world-class city”and calls it a challenging course that is a lot of fun.
The race is certified and sanctioned by USA Track and Field and is a part of the Run & See Georgia Grand Prix.
Registration is $80 up to the day of the race. Online registration will be available until Thursday, Oct. 17, and participants will also be able to sign up at the Classic Center on Saturday, Oct. 19 during the AthHalf Health and Fitness Expo.
The expo will include products, free samples and exhibits related to running, walking and health and nutrition in general.
Everyone who finishes the race will receive a “finisher’s medal.” The top 100 finishers will receive a “Top 100” mug. The overall winners will receive a $400 cash prize for first place, $300 for second and $200 for third; and winners in the 40-plus "Masters" category will receive $200 for first, $150 for second and $100 for third. There are 12 age groups, and the top three times in each group will also win a custom-made stamped ceramic platter.
Volunteers are currently being recruited to help with race registration at the Health and Fitness Expo and for the day of the race.
For more race info, visit www.athhalf.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.