HOPE Park organizers plan fall charity mud run

Eddy Saldena leaps over the landslide obstacle during the Adventure Mud Run. (Special Photo)

Eddy Saldena leaps over the landslide obstacle during the Adventure Mud Run. (Special Photo)


Doug and Kathleen Garland, members of the the Doug’s Dolls team, plunge into a large puddle during the Advent


Brittany Collazo, of the Snap Fitness of Lovejoy team, masters the Tarzan swing obstacle. (Special Photo)


The Dirt Skirts team takes a collective leap into one of the Adventure Mud Run obstacles. (Special Photo)


Michelle Sowell, left, and Shelly Toepfer conquer this Adventure Mud Run obstacle together. (Special Photo)


The Stockbridge Benchwarmers team poses at an obstacle along the Adventure Mud Run course. (Special Photo)

LOVEJOY — Organizers counted 140 runners who braved the muddy obstacle course to help raise money to build out the multi-faceted park,which sits on the Henry-Clayton county line.

Runners turned out in droves for the Second Annual HOPE Park Project Adventure Mud Run charity event sponsored by Sam’s Club.

HOPE Park Director Lori Harris estimated the nonprofit group raised nearly $5,500 in monetary donations and $3,500 in in-kind donations. She said proceeds from the charity run will help support Phase I of construction costs for a new regional public park in Lovejoy.

The park is partly the brainchild of Fayetteville couple Linda and David Clark, who intend to make the green space an all-accessible park that would include a community garden, nature trails, a playground and ball fields. They are calling the endeavor the HOPE Park Project as derived from the words “Helping Other People Excel.”

The Clarks head up the nonprofit Southern Crescent Sports Foundation Inc., and bought the property as part of their efforts to serve area residents including those with special needs.

Harris said the project is increasingly getting support from local residents.

She reported high participation at this month’s charity Mud Run, which was also held on the site of the future park.

First place individual runners were Charles England, the best time overall for males, and Antonia Wolf, the best time overall for females, she said.

Harris said the Dirty Divas rocked the course and took first place among the competing teams. Second place was awarded to the A-Team.

“Everyone had a really awesome time,” said Harris. “Because HOPE Park has received so many requests for another one in the fall, we are happy to announce that we will be hosting our Halloween Mud Run on Oct. 18.”

To learn more about HOPE Park Project, email Harris at Lori@OurHopePark.com, or visit the website at www.ourhopepark.com.