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

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More Highlighted Articles
Perfect Pain Relief Site for Runners
Off-Road Odyssey 5K/10K raises
$3,000 for No Tears for Christmas
For More Photos from the Race Click Here!
By RICHARD HARRIS
Rain, wind, and unseasonably cool temperatures did not put a damper on the first Buena Vista Off-Road Odyssey 5K/10K Race held on the Wells/Brown farmland last Saturday, as almost 50 runners braved the elements to be a part of the first official race on the challenging course.
They were not disappointed.
The course was absolutely phenomenal, said Rob Koehler of Columbus. We ran in and out of beautiful wooded areas, jumped over creeks, and ran through interesting trails. It was simply like no other race I have ever run.
Koehler noted that he runs in various types of races, including competing in a Tough Mudder every year, so he has been around the block. Now he has also been around the pasture, through the woods, and up Cardiac Hill ... and like all of the other racers we asked, he plans on coming back.
I will not only be recommending this run to my friends, but I will also be bringing a team of them with me next time, he said.
Those words were music to the ears of Frank Brown, who along with wife Julie, hosted the event with a team of volunteers. In fact, it has cemented their plans to not wait until next year to host another race.
Plans are already being made for the next race and we plan on doing some sort of event each quarter, said Mr. Brown, who noted that in addition to the regular 5K and 10K races, they are open to offering events that include obstacles, mud holes, or whatever the runners would prefer. He plans to lean heavily on the continued support
and advice of fellow volunteer and avid runner Jeff Gordy.
The event last Saturday will have a lasting effect on the community, and not just because its success promises to bring more runners to future events. It also raised $3,000 for the local No Tears for Christmas program, which provides food and toys for children of needy families in and around Marion County. The Kiwanis Club of North Columbus partnered with the local race organizers to help provide a means to keep costs down so that almost all of the money (aside from T-shirts and refreshments for the participants) could go to the local charity.
In addition to entry fees, several people also made donations to the cause to help it be a big fundraising hit.
It seems that there was just about nothing that was not a hit - even the cow patties drew compliments.
Buena Vista resident Frances Davis, who walked the course, said her favorite part was actually the challenge of dodging cow patties. Fellow local resident Joanie Welch of Mauk also mentioned this unique feature of the course in a positive way.
I liked the fact that it was close to home for me and in a cow pasture, which made it interesting dodging the cow patties, she said.
In addition to the portion of the race that crossed the pastures, runners also enjoyed the various wooded areas.
For the 10K, it was rough in the beginning because of the uneven terrain, smooth sailing through the middle, and had a killer hill at the end, noted Welch.
Kim Long of Buena Vista said the beautiful scenery and having to jump over a few small streams also added to her enjoyment as a runner.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown said they want to thank all of the runners who participated and all of the volunteers and sponsors (Arnolds Bike Shop, Odyssey Printing, The Journal, the Kiwanis Club), as well as Jeff Gordy, who did a fabulous job as the race director.
Volunteers who were strategically placed to make sure runners made correct turns through the woods were Jean and Michael Horn, Junior Wells, Tricia Wells Bluestone, Caroline Brown, Kennedy Stone, Elizabeth Brown, Bennett Murray, Billy Bickerstaff, Stephanie Hadley, and Thomas Hadley.
Registration and timing volunteers were Sarah and Scott Manucy, Pat Gordy, Julie Brown, Trisha Hinze, Stephanie Hadley, and Thomas Hadley.
I would also like to thank WLEL in Ellaville and The Journal in Buena Vista for all of their help in promoting this event, said Mr. Brown. We appreciate Sheriff Derrell Neal and Rod Aide and the local EMS for their attendance, too.  Everyones support and enthusiasm helped to make this race a success.
If anyone would like to make a last-minute donation to the fund for No Tears for Christmas, contact Frank Brown at 229-649-6515 or 706-326-3531.
Winners
Winners of the 10K race included: Steven Romo (Male Overall Winner) and Maria Saunders (Female Overall Winner), as well as the following age division first place finishers (partial list) – Owen Hartshorn (10 & Under), Mariah Gibson (F, 16-20), Maria Saunders (F, 21-25), Jessica Taylor (F, 26-30), Brandy Hartshorn (F, 31-35), Charlene Pennymon (F, 46-50).
Winners of the 5K race included: Andrew Sumner (Male Overall Winner), Ginger King (Female Overall Winner), as well as the following age division first place finishers (partial list) – Drew Harris (M, 11-15), Kaylon Holt (M, 21-25), Laci Holguin (F, 26-30), Johnathan Jackson (M, 36-40), Kim Long (F, 36-40), Richard Harris (M, 41-45), Kenny King (M, 46-50), Ginger King (F, 46-50), Ron Hinze (M, 51+), and Trisha Hinze (F, 50+).