A first time for everything as race season starts

There’s a first time for everything, so they say, and I got a first the other day.
A friend posted information on Facebook (find me there at www.facebook.com/barrypaschal) about the inaugural Harlem Hustle 5K on Nov. 2, a fundraiser for the Harlem High School girl’s basketball team. He was pointing out that registration for the race had just opened, so I popped up the link (http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=2109354) on active.com and signed up.
Lo and behold: I got race bib No. 1. That’s never happened before.
I’m not a fast runner, not even in my advanced age group, so I don’t have visions of coming in first. But at least I can start off No. 1!
Harlem High is my alma mater, by the way. In addition to the race, they’ll also have a chili cookoff and live music. (They’re also advertising “free Wi-Fi,” but so does every coffee shop, so I’m not sure that’s much of an attraction.)
More than anything else, though, this events signals racing season. For the most part, race organizers avoid the heat of the summer (wimps!), so fundraisers really start to pick up as the summer ends. Here are a few other upcoming races that have asked for a little help in promoting them:

The Life is RUFF without a LEASH 5k will be held at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 21 at the Augusta Canal, starting at the end of Milledge Road (just past GreenJackets Stadium). Sponsored by RUFF Rescues and LEASH Squad, the event is a fundraiser for animals in need with 10 percent donated to the rescues’ names to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Register at http://beta.active.com/augusta-ga/running/life-is-ruff-without-a-leash-5k-2013
For more information, email lifeisruffwithoutaleash@gmail.com or go to www.ruffrescues.com .

The annual Action Ministries Action Dash will be held on Labor Day at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church, 1330 Monte Sano Ave., Augusta. It’s a 5K and fun-run fundraiser for Action Ministries, and costs $25 for the 5K or $15 for the one-mile fun-run, with fees rising by $5 for same-day registration.
In addition to raising money for a great cause, one of the fun things about this run is that many of the participants dress up as “Action Heroes,” putting on costumes to run the very-hilly Hill area course.
To sign up, go to https://secure3.convio.net/ami/site/TRR/Events/General/559573740?pg=ptype&fr_id=1110&JServSessionIdr004=2g4y4kyfl3.app339a (or just go to Active.com and search for Augusta’s Action Dash).

Helen Blocker Adams has organized the inaugural National Childhood Obesity Awareness 5k Walk/Run at with check-in at 7:30 a.m. and the run at 8 a.m. Sept. 14 behind the Kroc Center, 1833 Broad St. To register, search on active.com, or for sponsorship information email Helen at  hba@hbagroup-intl.com.

The WSI Savannah River Run, a fundraiser for the United Way, will be held Nov. 2 at North Augusta’s Riverview Park. For all the details, go to http://wsiriverrun.org/

Plan now to register Sept. 1 for the annual Jingle Jam, a 10K fundraiser run for SafeHomes of Augusta. This race, which starts and ends Dec. 6 at Evans Towne Center Park, is an absolute blast – and it’s for a wonderful cause. Like them on Facebook for updates and registration information.
My friend Chris Harrison – who handles marketing for Jingle Jam – got Bib No. 1 last year. Maybe I’ll get lucky and snag it this year.
Meanwhile, a reminder: The meeting for area race directors will be held at the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau (behind Zaxby’s on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans) on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m.  It’s free – and it very well could make the difference between success and pocket-draining failure with that fundraiser race you’re planning.
Let them know you’ll attend by emailing SBlackburn@choosecolumbiacounty.com  or call the Columbia County CVB (706) 447.7677 or Fleet Feet Sports (706) 922.9860.
Let me know of other running events you’d like to see publicized.
Let’s hit the road!
(Barry L. Paschal retired from journalism in June after 30 years in the Augusta media, and now serves as senior director of marketing and communications for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA. Email barrypaschal@yahoo.com.) 

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