Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
For the first time in six years, Clayton State University is going to have a road race as part of its annual "Homecoming" celebration, officials at the university announced on Monday.
The school's Freedom Run, which used to be held on the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, is being moved to Feb. 12, which coincides with homecoming.
The race, which is organized in partnership with the Southlake Kiwanis Club, will be a feature of
the Morrow-based school's "Homecoming 2011" week of events, from Feb. 7, to Feb. 12.
Clayton State previously held two road races, one during homecoming and the other during the King holiday, but the homecoming race was discontinued six years ago, according to the news release.
Clayton State Track and Field Coach Mike Mead, one of the race's organizers, said he and officials from the Southlake Kiwanis Club initially were not going to have the race this year because of past run-ins with bad weather. Mead said there was interest among the Clayton State community to continue it, however.
"We originally weren't going to do it this year, but John [university spokesman, John Shiffert], who is an avid runner, and a few other people, asked us to do it during homecoming," Mead said.
Registration for the "Freedom Run," which includes 5K and 10K races, is currently underway, and will continue until Feb. 10. People can register by logging onto http://www.active.com/running/morrow-ga/freedom-run-2011/, Mead said.
According to the web site, registration is $20 per runner, before Feb. 10, but it goes up to $25 on the day of the race.
Mead said the race course will take runners on a loop around the Clayton State campus, and its surrounding area. He added that 5K participants will only run the course once, while 10K runners will cover it twice.
The 5K and 10K races will begin, simultaneously, Feb. 12, at 9 a.m., Mead said, but people who want to register that morning, can do so from 7:30 a.m., to 8:45 a.m.
Awards will be given to the fastest runners in several age divisions, according to the registration flyer for the Freedom Run. The age divisions, for women, are 12-under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60 and over.
The age divisions, for men, are 10-under, 11-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 and over. T-shirts will be given to Freedom Run participants. For information about the race, call Mead at (678) 466-4679.
In other "Homecoming" news, Clayton State has announced it is using a Valentine's Day theme for this year's week-long celebration: "I Love Clayton State: Show Your Love."
Additional events include:
* A "Rock the Lake Walk" and intramural basketball game between Clayton State and Macon State University, on Feb. 7, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Student Activities Center.
* A pep rally on Feb. 8, starting at noon, in the James M. Baker University Center.
* A "Jazz Mixer" for Clayton State alumni, students, faculty and staff, also on Feb. 8, from 7 p.m., to 9 p.m., in the Student Activities Center.
* Clayton State vs. Lander University men's and women's basketball games on Feb. 10, at the Clayton State Athletics Center. On the women's side, as of Monday, Lander was ranked No. 1, and Clayton State was ranked No. 2, in the nation, in the USA Today/ESPN Women's Division II coaches Poll. That game will begin at 5:30 p.m. The men's game will follow at 7:30 p.m.
* A Caribbean cruise-themed Casino Night, for alumni, students, faculty and staff, on Feb. 11, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Student Activities Center.
* The Alumni Breakfast, on Feb. 12, starting at 10:30 a.m., at the Harry S. Downs Center for Continuing Education, on the school's main campus.