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)
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.”