Barry Paschal is a Columbia County resident who serves as senior director of marketing and communications for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA - He retired after 30 years in Augusta media, most recently as publisher as The Columbia County News-Times. Follow on Twitter @barrypaschal
Posted May 20, 2013 05:49 pm

Meeting will help with those planning races


A recent meeting of the minds hopefully will lead to fewer headaches down the road.


Guided by Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Randy DuTeau, a few of us met to discuss putting together a race directors meeting for the area.


The brainchild (largely) of Fleet Feet Sports co-owner Michael McCauley, the race directors meeting is based on the idea of getting together people who have planned or hope to plan a race – 5K, 10K, fun run, half-marathon, what have you.


The numbers of these events continues to grow as people discover they aren’t that difficult to plan, and potentially can raise a significant amount of money.


The problem, however, is something akin to the growth in popularity of high-quality digital cameras. Every housewife who can afford a Nikon now thinks she is a professional photographer.


Obviously, there’s more to professional photography than just having nice gear. Likewise, putting on a high-quality race is more complicated than just setting a date and a route and making an announcement.


That’s especially the case in Columbia County, now that commissioners have approved an ordinance designed to make sure race organizers jump through a few more hoops if they intend to use any public roadways as part of their route – and potentially cost them more money for the privilege of blocking those roads.


The biggest challenge for the race directors meeting will be getting the right people to show up. It’s probably a safe bet that representatives of the best-organized races will be there, but the folks who really could use the help are those who are a little, shall we say, less skilled or experienced.


The date for the meeting hasn’t yet been set, but likely will be in late July or early August in time for the fall racing season to start.


If you’d like to be part of the meeting, let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop.




Meanwhile, here are some upcoming races:


• Here’s a unique one: The Tortoise and the Hare Four-Mile Predictor will be held Saturday, May 25 on the Greeneway in North Augusta. The race requires participants to guess their time to run the Greeneway – and doesn’t allow them to wear watches or other devices to measure. Prizes are awarded for accurate predictions. Funds from the race benefit Friends of the Greeneway. Register at


• The Running for a New Chance 5K will begin at the Lake Olmstead Park gazebo Saturday, May 25 (I still haven’t seen a start time for this one). Register at


• The Augusta Fights Lupus 5K will be held 7 a.m. June 1 at Savannah Rapids Park. Register at


• The area’s top runners ought to be here – and get paid. The Just Cure IT Run for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will be at 8 a.m. at Evans Fitness Center and includes a 5K, 10K and a fun run, with $2,500 in cash prizes for division winners. Register at


• The Father’s Day 5K will be held June 15 (the day before Father’s Day) at USC Aiken. Register at




As always, let me know if you have an upcoming vent you’d like help promoting.




Let’s hit the road!