So when Allatoona track and cross country coach Dave Ravenscraft, and athletic director Benji Morrell began to organize the inaugural Running Bucs 5K Challenge and 1 Mile Dash, they knew they needed to find a way for the event to stand out.
By coming up with two unique races, Ravenscraft feels they did just that. The races will be held Feb. 23 on the school’s campus in Acworth.
“5K road races are pretty common place these days,” Ravenscraft said. “Every organization seems to have one. We are trying to make ours different and a little more fun.”
The 5K will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the school’s bus parking area and finish in the stadium. Ravenscraft said the course is designed with trail racers and warrior dash runners — those who compete in events that include obstacles and impediments — in mind. Though the race won’t include any obstacles, it will feature multiple terrains ranging from pavement to wooded trails and finishing on the track.
“We won’t close any roads,” Ravenscraft said. “We will run the race on campus on trails that we have constructed for our cross country team. Then, we will also use our track and field facilities. The elevations will be up and down. There are some turns, switchbacks. It should be pretty interesting.”
The 1-mile dash will begin at 10:30 a.m. near the stadium and finish on a fast downhill behind the school. Ravenscraft said the course was planned for serious racers, and he hopes this will draw participants from Atlanta and the surrounding area.
“It’s not a ‘fun run’ or ‘tot trot,’” Ravenscraft said of the 1-mile dash. “That’s where we are going to try to get our master runners in. That’s where we are going to try to draw our top competitors. You don’t find many races like that. We would like that to be our niche and be the more competitive of the two races.”
Runners can participate in both races or choose a single event. The entry fee is $18 for the 5K, $15 for the dash or $25 for those who participate in both events. Runners can register online at active.com or at the school.
Phantom racers — those who want a t-shirt, but not actually participate in the race — can support the team with an $18 donation.
Ravenscraft said races are a great way to get the community out to support the school and promote fitness.
“It’s a way for us to raise some money for our cross country and track programs and to get our school out there running,” Ravenscraft said.
Allatoona cross country and track athletes will be able to participate in one of the racing, while helping with the organizational efforts of the other.
All participants will receive a t-shirt. Medals will be awarded to the top three overall finishers, the top finishers in each age group of the 5K and the top 10 overall finishers of the 1-mile dash.
Organizers would like to have at least 150 participants in the first year, with plans to grow in the future.
“We would like it to be run well enough to be able to continue it from year to year to year,” said Ravenscraft, who cited similar events such as Walton’s Raider Chase, the North Cobb Warrior Run and the Run for the Sun organized by the Harrison band. “We’d like it to become a regular event. We want to make it good enough that people want to return.”
Ravenscraft also added that safety will also be a top priority.
“We want people to have a good time,” he said. “If not this year, we hope to have festivities going on down the road. That’s what we want to build to.”
For more information or to register, visit www.active.com/running/acworth-ga/running-bucs-5k-challenge-and-1-mile-dash-2013.