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Trial run: Rotary Club’s inaugural ‘Spring Spring’ was preparation for the future

Rotary Club’s inaugural ‘Spring Spring’ was preparation for the future

Lawrenceville distance runner Edward Chambers leads the 10K pack from the starting line in the inaugural Lake Spivey Rotary Club Spring Sprint race Saturday. Chambers, who is preparing to run the Boston Marathon, won the race and called it a “training run” for next month’s 26-mile marathon. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

Lawrenceville distance runner Edward Chambers leads the 10K pack from the starting line in the inaugural Lake Spivey Rotary Club Spring Sprint race Saturday. Chambers, who is preparing to run the Boston Marathon, won the race and called it a “training run” for next month’s 26-mile marathon. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Lawrenceville distance Edward runner checks his stop watch as he crosses the finish line in the Lake Spivey Rotary Club Spring Sprint 10K race Saturday. Chambers, who won the race, called it a “training run” for his participation in next month’s Boston Marathon. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Officials from the Lake Spivey Rotary Club’s Spring Sprint race greet Lithonia native Deveraux Jones as he crosses the finish line in the 5K race Saturday. Jones was the first runner in either the 5K and 10K races to cross the finish line. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Lake Spivey Rotary Club President Cephus Jackson lines up runners for the group’s Spring Sprint 5K race in Jonesboro Saturday. This was the first year the event, which includes 5K and 10K races, has been held. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day is escorted by a Jonesboro police motorcycle officer as she approaches the finish line Saturday in the Lake Spivey Rotary Club’s inaugural Spring Sprint. The city co-hosted the event with the club. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Kenya Warner, 10, shows off a flag she made at the Arts Clayton booth before Lake Spivey Rotary Club’s Sprint Sprint Saturday. Warner participated in the event’s 5K race with her grandmother and waved the flag as she crossed the finish line. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Participants in the 5K portion of the Lake Spivey Rotary Club’s Spring Sprint climb a hill as they leave the starting area at Lee Street Park Saturday. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Spring Sprint participant Brian Foreman chases his son, Matthew, to the finish line during the event’s 5K race in Jonesboro Saturday. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Spring Sprint co-chairwoman Felicia Warner, right, checks with Lake Spivey Rotary Club members Terri Taylor-Hamrick, left, and Tammy Powell before the races to see how many runners signed up to participate in the event. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Lake Spivey Rotary Club President Cephus Jackson, left, and his wife, Donna Jackson, right, chat with Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day before the club’s inaugural Spring Sprint 5k and 10k races at Lee Street Park Saturday. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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A group of runners lines up to have their pictures taken before the Lake Spivey Rotary Club’s inaugural Spring Sprint 5k and 10k races in Jonesboro Saturday. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

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Water bottles are lined up at the Clayton County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s booth at the Lake Spivey Rotary Club Spring Sprint 5k and 10k races in Jonesboro Saturday. Race sponsors, including the CVB, were allowed to have booths to promote their services. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

JONESBORO — In many ways, the Lake Spivey Rotary Club’s inaugural Spring Sprint was like a test run for organizers and several participants.

The event’s 5k and 10k races gave organizers a chance to learn what worked well and what issues, such as signage to mark race routes, needed improvement for the future. Some runners in the 10k race complained afterwards that it was difficult at times to tell where the route was.

But for some runners like Lawrenceville resident Edward Chambers, who won the 10K race, the event was preparation for bigger races.

“I was looking for a 10k to run and there aren’t many around at this time of year and so I signed up for this one,” Chambers said. “This was actually a training run for me because I’m doing the Boston Marathon next month.”

About 100 runners took place in the race, said Rotary Club president Cephus Jackson. He added that one factor that helped the race was that there weren’t many 10k races scheduled to take place around the time of the Spring Sprint, which allowed it to do draw runners preparing for bigger races.

“You have the Peachtree Road Race and some of these other big marathons coming up and this gives runners a chance to get in shape for those races,” Jackson said.

Rotarians and city officials said there are multiple reasons why the race was organized this year. One reason was to promote a healthy lifestyle, and medical professionals from Southern Regional Medical Center were on hand to give free health screenings.

Another reason, Jackson said, was to highlight downtown Jonesboro. “We want to help promote Jonesboro as a destination,” he said.

The overarching reason, however, was to raise money for Rotary Club projects which aim to help community organizations including House of Dawn and Rainbow House, said Jackson.

There are hopes that the race will not be a one-time shot, said Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day. Day ran in the 5k along with City Councilwoman Pat Sebo and several city hall staffers. Julie Segner, wife of Councilman Randy Segner, represented her husband in the 5k.

The city leaders and employees were just some of the local officials who participated in the race. County commission Chairman Jeff Turner and Solicitor General Tasha Mosley also participated in the 5k.

“We hope to make this an annual event to benefit the less fortunate in our community,” Day said. “It’s a good cause.”

But as organizers look for suggestions to make next year’s event better than the inaugural run, Turner offered up some suggestions.

“There are two things you could do to improve this race next year,” Turner said. “One is water stations along the route and the other is massage chairs along the route.”