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The Journal
Weekly Newspaper covering Marion, Schley, Chattahoochee, Webster, and Stewart Counties.
71 Webb Lane, Buena Vista, GA 31803 • Phone & Fax: 229-649-6397 • Email: tjournal@windstream.net

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Buena Vista Off-Road Odyssey 5K & 10K
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From the Feb. 12, 2014 issue of The Journal newspaper in Buena Vista
By Richard Harris
   The third Buena Vista Off-Road Odyssey 5K & 10K took place last Saturday, Feb. 8 on the Wells Farm a few miles south of town, as runners and walkers made their way across cow pastures (dogging a patty or two in the process), followed winding trails through scenic woodlands, and skipped over small streams. For the first time, it also included a “Dirty Duathlon” (15K mountain bike race + 5K run).
   The event drew a mixture of locals and out-of-town guests. The crowd was also a blend of hard-core fitness buffs, including members of the Columbus Triathlon Club and soldiers from nearby

Fort Benning, as well as less experienced runners, and even a handful of walkers.
   As diverse as the participants were, they all seemed to have a few things in common, including really enjoying the challenging course and the hospitality of the hosts – Frank and Julie Brown (owners of Odyssey Printing), their daughters Elizabeth and Caroline, and Mrs. Brown’s parents, Junior and Deanie Wells.
   “It was great race,” said Tracy Wooldridge of Lawrenceville. “I hope to do it next year, too. It was beautiful and well run.”
   Those who have run the course also know that all participants leave with a special bond as “Cardiac Hill Survivors.” All but a few of the runners wind up walking at least a portion of this section and its legend grows with each race.
   Mr. Brown loves the positive feedback about the course, as he has spent many hours developing it. He likes the fact that it is challenging, but wants to continually remind people that it’s also suitable for walkers, especially with the volunteers and aid stations that are always placed along the route.
   Another constant is the reason behind the races, which raise money for charities. The first event raised money for the Special Needs Department of the Marion County School System, while the second one helped the local charity “No Tears for Christmas.” Last Saturday’s event raised money for Project ELIMINATE, which seeks to prevent maternal/neonatal tetanus.
   “The most rewarding part of it all is that we get to do something we truly enjoy while raising money for worthy causes,” Brown said.
   Their efforts have also drawn the attention of other organizations and individuals who have volunteered to be a part of it. The Kiwanis Club of Columbus was back on board for the second time as the official sponsor of the latest race. Other sponsors include Arnold’s Bike Shop in Columbus (whose owner, Jeff Gordy, serves as Brown’s right-hand-man from course construction to event promotion),The Journal, and of course, Mr. Brown’s Odyssey Printing & Graphics in Columbus.
   New for this year’s event was sponsor B&B Beverage and Michelob Ultra, which provided post run beer for runners over 21, and may expand its level of sponsorship for future events.
   In addition to the official sponsors, there were more than 25 individuals who turned out to help. These included locals, as well as members of the Kiwanis Clubs of Columbus and the Hardaway High School International Baccalaureate program. Jimmy McClellan served as the “grill master” and cooked up a bunch of Nathan’s hot dogs for the guests, who also enjoyed healthy fruits and water.
   In addition to enjoying time with fellow volunteers and participants, Brown said everything about the events is enjoyable.
   “We love the planning stages of the events and how we can organize and participate as a family,” he said. “Our girls are involved in the planning and during the race. They recruit their friends to come help, too. We all have a great time meeting new people and watching them enjoy their time on the farm, as do Junior (who gets a gold star for putting the cows up and getting them back out afterwards) and Deanie.”
   First place winners in the 10K race were: Male 1st Place Overall – Christian Crapo, 18, of Ft. Benning (43:43); Female Overall Winner – Charlene Pennymon, 49, of Americus (53:48); Male Masters Champion – Scott Gilpatrick of Ft. Benning (44:32), Female Masters Champion – Laura Dudley of Buena Vista (55:40); Male 15 to 19 – Andrew Brooling of Columbus (52:15); Female 20 to 29 – Camille Reed of Midland (1:03:15); Male 30 to 39 – Casey Shivers of Buena Vista (59:17); Female 30 to 39 – Rosa Eshoo of Columbus (58:45); Male 40 to 49 – Keith Moser of Phenix City (51:06); Female 40 to 49 – Angela Pate of Phenix City (1:06:52); Male 50 to 59 – James Dudley (48:02); and Female 50 to 59 – Margaret Connelly of Box Springs (1:18:19).
   First place winners in the 5K race were: Male 1st Place Overall – Joseph Hird, 19 (26:13); Female 1st Place Overall – Jorja Loftin, 28, of Albany (33:47); Male Masters Champion – Paul Davis of Buena Vista (38:36); Female Masters Champion – Tracy Wooldridge of Lawrenceville (34:39); Male 14 & Under – Michael Dudley (41:57); Female 15 to 19 – Madison Berryhill of Box Springs (43:37); Male 20 to 29 – Nolan Parent (31:13); Female 20 to 29 – Laci Holguin of Buena Vista (40:01); Male 30 to 39 - David Bess of Columbus (33:39); Female 30 to 39 – Kris Thomas of Columbus (45:11); Male 40 to 49 – Mike Blount of Smiths (58:37); Female 40 to 49 – Kate McGrony of Columbus (40:03); Female 50 to 59 – Lynn Yarborough of Columbus (42:04); Male 60 & Over – John Clair of Cataula (41:38); Female 60 & Over – Frances Davis of Buena Vista (1:01:35).
   For more information about the Off-Road Odyssey events contact Frank Brown at 706-323-0631 or Jeff Gordy at 706-568-1806.
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