Residents ‘Sleigh the Course’ Sat.

Published 8:55 pm Monday, December 17, 2018

VALLEY — It may have been a week later than planned, but runners slayed the course Saturday morning in Valley during the Sleigh the 5K race.

The race featured about 15 runners near the Merry Go Round and all ages were in attendance, including a father/daughter team and a 79-year-old runner with a heart stent.

Valley Parks and Recreational Director Laurie Blount said she was hoping for more people, but the rain last weekend forced the race to run a week later than planned, thus competing with a big run in Columbus, Georgia. Blount said many who would have run in this race probably made their way over there.

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She said this race was the second annual race. While there is hope for growth, the main intent is to focus more events around the Merry Go Round.

“It is just something fun to do,” Blount said. “We scheduled it last weekend and it got rained out, I don’t think we got as many people as we wanted.”

The weather cooperated this weekend with the temperatures in the low 50s and no rain, which is good for runners, Blount said. Additionally, she said the range of ages was encouraging and in the spirit of the race.

“We encourage everybody,” she said. “We are not here for time or trying to beat a record, we just want people to get out and have a good time.”

Prizes were given out for first, second and third place for each age group and then overall for the top three finishers.

Everybody who paid the $20 entry free got a T-shirt, as well as doughnuts from sponsor Dunkin’ Donuts and bottles of water.

Winner of the race was Don Bowles from Columbus, who was convinced to run this race by his daughter, who helped put on the race by keeping the runners’ times. He had a time of just over 22 minutes.

Lamar DuBose, 79, of Lanett, who recently had a heart stent due to a 75 percent blockage in his arteries, finished with a time of about 43 minutes, which disappointed him because it was above his normal time of 41 minutes.

He said he has been rehabbing since May, but once they put the stent in, he received a boost of energy.

“I had so much energy, I had to do something with it,” he said. “So, I started walking fast.”

Eventually that walking turned into running and now he is participating in his third 5K this year.

He said he doesn’t run the whole way, because he has to watch his heart rate.

“I’ll run until I get my heart rate up to 140, walk until I get it back down to 120 and I’ll run again,” DuBose said.

He has an app on his phone that can detect his heart rate.

James and Anna Murphy were the father and daughter duo that finished in about 44 minutes. James Murphy said his daughter watched him run a race in October and wanted to do one with him. They agreed to this race and began training by running and walking together.

“This is her first race and she made it all the way through,” James Murphy said.

He said they jogged most of the way through the 3-mile race, but did have to take a few breaks.

When asked if Anna Murphy would want to run another race with her dad, her only response was “maybe.”

“It was hard,” she said, out of breath just after running.