Rockdale races offer challenges for runners

CONYERS -- The turning colors of the leaves and cool weather mean runners will have several chances to race and support local non-profits groups.

Following the Arts in Motion 5K last Saturday, local runners have four more races to -- run all in Conyers -- between now and Thanksgiving.

The Olde Town Runners plans to have a strong showing at the local races, according to Craig McCullough.

"OTR is about enjoying friends in Conyers while instilling a healthy activity, but the group also believes that the road races are a way to give back to the community," he said.

The next event scheduled is the Race Against Violence 5K on Saturday, Oct. 22, to benefit Project ReNeWal Battered Women's Shelter and the Rockdale County Taskforce Against Family Violence. The race will be held at 8 a.m. with a 1-mile fun run followed by the 5K run at 8:15 a.m.

Registration will be at the Conyers First United Methodist Church, located at 921 North Main St. Pre-registration is $15 before Oct. 10 and $20 on race day.

Entry forms and more information can be found at www.rockdaleaware.org.

The Rockdale County Habitat for Humanity chapter will hold the Ninth annual Habitat Pumpkin Chase 5K on Saturday, Nov. 5. The race will be held at 9 a.m. at the Conyers Welcome Center, located at the corner of Center and Railroad streets.

Race organizer Al Smith said the Pumpkin Chase is one of Habitat's biggest fund-raising events, and he hopes for another good turnout this year. The race is the first since Habitat dedicated its Olde Town Village project where 32 homes are planned to be built.

"We definitely need as much help as we can get," he said. "We're working with our first family on building a house. The cost of building a house has gone up substantially in order to meet the latest code requirements."

Early registration is $15 on www.active.com through Oct. 24 and $20 on race day. For more information, email Smith at almack30@hotmail.com or call 404-281-2244.

Elks Aidmore Children's Center will hold its 13th Annual 5K Turkey Trot on Saturday, Nov. 19, on the center's campus, located at 2394 Morrison Road. The trail run goes the woods of the 141-acre property of Elks Aidmore and supports the operation of the center.

The 5K Turkey Trot begins at 9 a.m., followed by a 1-mile Tot Trot at 9:20 a.m. Race day registration begins at 8 a.m.

Preregistration is $20 and $25 on race day. Runners 8 years old and under can register for $10 before the race and $15 on race day. Online registration is available at www.elksaidmore.com or call 770-483-3535.

The Seventh Annual Aubrae Gunderson 5K on Saturday, Nov. 26, benefits the Aubrae Gunderson Memorial Scholarship Fund. Each year, the fund awards a scholarship to a student-athlete at each of the county's three high schools. The race was organized by Gunderson's family and friends in her memory. Aubrae was a sophomore at Heritage High School who excelled in academics and sports. She died in 2005 when she was struck by a car while training with the school's cross country team.

The event includes a High Heel Hustle, where participants run a 40-yard sprint in high heels, and a one-mile fun run.

Pre-registration is $15 before Nov. 19 and $20 on race day. The races and registration will be at Heritage High School. The one-mile run is at 8:45 a.m. and the 5K race starts at 9 a.m. The High Heel Hustle is at 10:30 a.m. following awards and drawing.

For more information, go to www.active.com or www.aubraegunderson.com.