By Jessica Pope
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University will hold its second annual Centennial 5K Fun Run/Walk at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Runners and walkers are asked to gather at the start line near the intersection of North Patterson Street and Georgia Avenue, across from the Alumni House, on main campus.
Registration will be accepted from 6:30 a.m. until a few moments prior to race time just outside West Hall, noted Shawn Phippen, assistant director of fitness and facilities for Campus Recreation at Valdosta State University. The cost is $15.
Phippen said each race participant will receive a T-shirt and the opportunity to win a Valdosta State University tote bag. Trophies will be presented to the fastest male and female following the race. The top three finishers in each category will receive a specially designed fleece top.
In 2006, Phippen said more than 260 people ran in the Valdosta State University Centennial 5K Fun Run/Walk. He hopes to have just as many — if not more — at Saturday’s event. However, he does not know how the forecasted triple-digit heat index will affect the turnout.
Like the inaugural race, Saturday’s Centennial 5K Fun Run/Walk will promote health and well-being while celebrating Valdosta State University’s past, present and future. It’s a culmination of the efforts of the university’s Centennial Steering Committee, Farber Health Center, Police Department, Wellness Committee and Campus Recreation, as well as the folks at Get Active Running and More.
In 1906, legislators and local civic leaders began working toward the establishment of an institution of higher education in Valdosta. Referred to as the South Georgia Agricultural, Industrial and Normal College during its early planning stages, it opened in 1913, as South Georgia State Normal College, a two-year teacher training program.
Declared a four-year institution by 1922, South Georgia State Normal College experienced both a change in name to Georgia State Woman’s College and an expansion of academic and extracurricular activities. It was named a liberal arts college 11 years later.
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia declared the institution a co-educational one in 1950, renaming it Valdosta State College. In 1993, it became Valdosta State University, one of two regional institutions of higher learning within the University System of Georgia.
Registration forms can be picked up at Get Active Running and More or at Campus Recreation on the campus of Valdosta State University. They can also be downloaded at www.valdosta.edu/recreation. Call: (229) 333-5898 for information.
Link to the race course: http://www.valdosta.edu/recreation/docs/eventpdf/centennialrace07/centennialwalkmap.jpg