South Hall Rotary has set the date and is announcing several changes for this year’s Awesome 80’s 5K. The event will be moved from August in Flowery Branch to September 25th on the Gainesville campus of the University of North Georgia (UNG).
After sweltering August temps and a significant increase in the population and traffic of downtown Flowery Branch, the club made the decision after last year’s race to consider new locations.
Club President Brenda McMillan stated that they hated that they needed to move the race but had come to a point where the race had outgrown the space and needed more room to accommodate the safety of the participants.
“Even last year during down numbers for COVID we found that we had a very difficult time with the volume of cars who wanted to drive around or through participants, stated McMillian. The downtown area of Flowery Branch has faced numerous changes over the years but the biggest one may be the number of people using the downtown area to get to Lake Lanier. The courses participants often face angry lake patrons while trying to run through the city’s park.
Our committee sat down after last year and considered several options but continued to come back to the campus at UNG. Rena Pendley who is the chair for the event said that it was a natural fit to pair up the campus that has been a beneficiary of this race. “We have donated a large portion of the proceeds for the last three races to help continue support for the UNG Food Pantry” stated Pendley. “We plan to expand that relationship with UNG through hoping to achieve a bigger partnership with the food pantry program and volunteers.”
After considering several courses, the club decided to host the 5K on the campus at UNG. They also decided to move the event date back to September for heat safety. The goal is to provide a better runner experience on the course and through the weather conditions.
The club hopes the temperatures are a bit cooler and the course provides fewer traffic concerns than in previous years. Sponsorships are being accepted through September 3rd and can be found on the club’s website. Race Registration will be open through the day of the race and can be found at https://runsignup.com/southhallrotary5k
Beneficiaries for this event will include the UNG Food Pantry along with numerous other projects in the South Hall Community-Centered around food insecurity, environmental protection, literacy, and child welfare and development.