Competition is one thing, but safety will be another when runners line up Saturday for the annual Awesome 80s 5K road race in downtown Flowery Branch.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, the South Hall Rotary Club is still holding the race Aug. 15 but is asking that “all participants respect social distancing to the best of your ability.” Running a course somewhere else is also an option.
“We will be starting the race in waves of smaller groups to space out runners,” the club says on its race website.
No in-person award ceremony will be held.
“Winners will be notified, and medals will be shipped or available for pickup,” according to the club.
Also, hand sanitizer will be provided for all participants, and volunteers will wear masks.
“We ask you simply please don't come to the in-person event if you have any symptoms of being sick,” the website says.
People can participate in the 3.2-mile race by running a course by themselves, such as through their neighborhood, on Saturday. They would register as “virtual” participants, said Amanda Groover, club president.
As of Monday, 52 people had registered for the race, including two virtual participants, she said.
"We are estimating approximately 80-100 participants, which is half the normal runners,” Groover said. “We are still seeing a significant response from individuals who are simply excited to see a race that isn’t canceled.”
The race can be a qualifier for the AJC Peachtree Road Race, which was postponed July 4 and is currently scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26.
The Flowery Branch race will begin at 8 a.m. Aug. 15, and participants will run along Gainesville, Mitchell, Church, Chattahoochee and Tanner streets, Railroad Avenue and Jones Road.
“Travelers can expect delays and closures along each of the streets,” said a news release.
Registration fees are $30 until Friday, Aug. 14, and $35 on the day of the race for active and virtual runners. There’s also a “fun run” associated with the event that charges $15 before the event and $20 on the day of the race. The fun run starts at 7:45 a.m.
Proceeds will benefit the University of North Georgia Food Bank and Chicopee Community Christmas program for underprivileged kids, the press release says.
What: annual race sponsored by the South Hall Rotary Club
When: 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15
Fees: $30 until Friday, Aug. 14, and $35 on Saturday