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Runners hit the road for the Jesse Owens Memorial Run last year. The 26th annual running of the event will be May 19.
Daily file photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Runners hit the road for the Jesse Owens Memorial Run last year. The 26th annual running of the event will be May 19.

Jesse Owens Memorial Run just around the corner

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com ∑ 340-2443

MOULTON — Itís time to dust the cobwebs off your running shoes and get ready for the 26th annual Jesse Owens Memorial Run in Moulton on May 19.

If you donít think youíll have the time or energy to build up to the 10-kilometer race, thereís also a two-mile race that may be just the kick start you need for the racing season.

DeWayne Key, one of the founders of the Jesse Owens Memorial Run, said the 10K course is flat with long stretches, a great combination for beginning runners and old pros trying to set a new personal record.

Runners will start at Lawrence County High School on College Street, loop around the square, run up Main Street and circle around to finish on the high school track.

Key said the 10K race attracts about 200 runners each year, and the two-mile run often attracts even more. About 50 young runners under the age of 6 participate in the one-mile fun run.

Last year, Moultonís Heath White, 24, won the race for the third straight time. He finished in a time of 33 minutes, 57 seconds, almost two full minutes ahead of the second-place finisher. Valerie Connaughton, 39, of Mooresville took the womenís title in 42:49.

Awards are given to overall male and female 10K and two-mile winners, and the first five place finishers in each age division.

Special trophies are given to the first five boys and the first five girls who complete the one-mile run, but all finishers will receive awards.

All 10K and two-mile racers will receive a Jesse Owens Run T-shirt.

Runners who register before May 17 will get a discounted rate, but anyone can register up to the day of the race.

The 10K starts at 8 a.m., followed by the two-mile run at 9:15 a.m. and the one-mile run at 10 a.m.

Key said that proceeds from the race, combined with support from International Paper Co. in Courtland, support running programs in Lawrence County schools.

For more information about the run, download a brochure at www.lawrencealabama.com or e-mail Key at ace1key@aol.com.

The memorial run, started by Lawrence County residents in 1982, honors Oakville native Jesse Owens, a legendary Olympic athlete and one of the fastest men ever.

Owens is most known for defeating Adolf Hitlerís dream of proving to the world that German Aryan people were the dominant race at the 1936 Olympics, often called the ďHitler Olympics,Ē in Berlin.

He stomped the competition, winning the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the broad jump.

He was also a key member of the 400-meter relay team that won the gold medal.

His victories made him the first American in the history of Olympic track and field to win four gold medals in a single Olympics.

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