Runner’s High

Have the last few days been perfect, or what?  With crisp mornings, warm afternoons and the sudden profusion of red spider lilies, South Carolina has definitely gotten the message that fall is here (but don’t get too excited—that could change next week).  It’s also fall sports season, and my football-loving friends have turned their attention to the pigskin and planning their tailgate parties.

Another popular fall sport is competitive running.  Although I’m not a runner, I’ve heard many times that there is no feeling that compares to it, especially when the euphoric rush called “runner’s high” kicks in.  Whether you run for fun or to win, Sumter has several upcoming 5K races that will let you test your mettle against other runners or your own personal best:

St. Anne Catholic School’s 6th Annual Crusade for Christ 5K will be held October 6, 2012, starting at 9 a.m.  Registration is $25 and starts at 8 a.m.  The event takes place at the Nettles/Schwartz parking lot of USC Sumter, with proceeds going to benefit the computer labs and technology centers of Sumter’s parochial schools.  You can pre-register at St. Anne School (11 S. Magnolia Street; call 775-3632), St. Jude Church  (611 W. Oakland; call 773-9244) or Our Lady of the Skies at Shaw AFB (call 895-1110).  For more info, contact Kristi Doyle at (803) 775-3632 or by e-mail at  All ages are welcome—run, walk, and feel free to bring the kids and strollers!

Also on October 6 is the second annual “Stop Domestic Violence” 5K Walk/Run hosted by the Gamma Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (you must be logged in to Facebook to see this page).  Registration is at the Dillon Park gazebo from 8 to 9:30 a.m., and the event takes off at 10 a.m.  Fees are $10 for ages 16 and under, and $12 for adults.  Proceeds will be donated to a local women’s non-profit organization.  For more info, please call (803) 234-1791 or (571) 215-0505.

Run for the books—and in memory of a truly wonderful man.  The Forrest Ray 5K Run/Walk Celebration is scheduled for October 13, 2012.  Now in its seventh year, the event is named in memory of its originator, Forrest Ray.  Husband, family man, teacher, musician and tireless library supporter (and to me, a cherished friend of nearly 30 years), he was a beloved figure to many within the community. He originated the idea of a 5k as a fundraiser to expand and renovate the Downtown and Wesmark branches of the Sumter County Library system, and was able to see the first event take place.  In the years since, it has served as a memorial to him.  Early registration is $20 (register at the Sumter County Library or Sumter Family YMCA; same-day registration is $25.  Registration starts at 7 a.m. the day of the event; the USTAF-sanctioned race begins at 8 a.m.  For more info, call the Sumter County Library at (803) 773-7273.

The “big daddy” of Sumter runs is also approaching quickly—it’s almost time for the TriSumter Triathlon (featured here on September 4) on October 20.  For more info on this successful event, now in its second year, click here or call (803) 436-2640.

Now, that’s just in the next few weeks.  October 27 brings the Sunrise Rotary 4th Annual 5K Run/Walk (you must be logged in to Facebook to see this page), and on November 22, the YMCA’s annual Turkey Trot (that one’s to help you work up an appetite for Thanksgiving dinner, I think!).

So, break out those trainers and head for the finish line—improve your health and fitness, make a valuable contribution to our community, and make a few new friends along the way!

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