By Joel Hall
During the third annual Lake Spivey Road Race, the Lake Spivey community will become the stage for hundreds of competitive and amateur runners. Volunteers are needed to keep the runners hydrated, and on the right track, according to race organizers.
This year's race event, which includes a 15K race and 5K run/walk, will take place on Oct. 2, starting at 8 a.m. The race will start at Clayton County International Park, and travel eastward along the entire circumference of Lake Spivey and Lake Jodeco. The run/walk will also start from International Park, and will travel through neighborhoods surrounding the Lake Spivey Golf Club.
Karyn Cozad, volunteer coordinator for the Lake Spivey Road Race, has issued a call for 80 volunteers to work at various checkpoints to make the race run smoothly. As of Monday, only 34 volunteers are signed up, she said.
"It's been a little tougher this year," said Cozad. "Several of the volunteers we've had in the past are traveling this year. We also moved the race. It is a month earlier than last year.
"They [volunteers] help the racers find their way," she said. "They also help at the water stations and the food stations. Eighty [volunteers] is what we would like to have."
As in years past, both the 15K and 5K courses are certified by USA Track & Field and serve as qualifiers for the Peachtree Road Race, organizers emphasize. By participating in the races, running enthusiasts also can earn points toward the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix -- a series of competitive races which yields top winners each year based on the points they accumulate.
Neil Farmer, race coordinator for the Lake Spivey Road Race, said for the first time, runners in this year's race will be able to compete using "B-Tag" technology, which digitally records the time of the runner using a microchip placed in the runner's bib. He said the microchips also will allow officials to instantly track the best runners, according to their age division.
"Each year, we try to add something new," Farmer said. "This year, we are adding electronic timing. It's a lot more accurate [and] you get the results almost instantaneously. It's much easier to identify your age groups and things like that."
Farmer said the 15K road race is one of only a few 15K races in the state, and serves as good practice for other races that take place in the fall.
"About two weeks after our race is the Peachtree City 15K [Peachtree City Classic]," Farmer said. "You have the Atlanta Half Marathon around Thanksgiving. You're still going to be running over an hour for a 15K. It's still a good distance. It prepares them for some of the fall races."
The Lake Spivey Road Race will take place in conjunction with the second annual Festival and Barbecue Competition, sponsored by State Rep. Glenn Baker, Clayton County District 4 Commissioner Michael Edmondson and the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department. The festival will take place from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m., at Clayton County International Park.
Proceeds from both the Lake Spivey Road Race and the Festival and Barbecue Competition will support the Kids Outdoors Initiative, which supports scholarships to introduce Clayton County students to outdoor activities around the state of Georgia. Registration for either the 15K or 5K race is $30 per runner/walker.
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