Mayor's Challenge Brings Runners Back to Alpharetta
Alpharetta Rotary Club presents this Peachtree Qualifier for the 15th year.
The Alpharetta Rotary Club will put runners–and even some walkers–on the city's streets for the 15th time in the Mayor's Challenge on Saturday, May 14.
Rotarian James Benson said the club, along with the city and the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau, presents the race every year.
"The Mayor's Challenge is one of the largest fund raisers of the Alpharetta Rotary Club. We use the proceeds to help several local charities: North Fulton Community Charities, the Drake House, Habitat for Humanities. We send a couple of students to Boy's State," Benson said.
The club also supports several international projects, most of which encompass more than one year. Water projects in Africa, and schools and orphanages in Central America are the types of projects
The Mayor's Challenge is a 5K/10K Peachtree Qualifier for the serious runner as well as a Fun Run/Walk for the whole family. A runner’s pancake breakfast will be offered at the race finish from 7:30-9:30 a.m.
"We have our pancake breakfast every year with the race. For the last three years it has been provided by the Original Pancake House, a faithful supporter of the race," Benson said.
For the first time they also have a title sponsor, State Bank & Trust on Old Milton Parkway.
Benson said the largest race had almost 800 participants. It's never had less than 500, and for the past couple of years has been around 700.
"You can post a 5K time or a 10K time to get seating for the race," he said. That's important, because with 20 or more "corrals" for runners, anyone in the back of the pack at Peachtree will be forced to walk most of the race because of the volume of people.
But before getting there, the Mayor's Challenge has to be completed.
Benson said the race starts on Old Milton Parkway in front of the Mansell House at Wills Park. Runners race up to Roswell Street where they do a U-turn, run back past the Mansell House to Wills Road. A right turn is made on Wills past American Legion Post 201, heading to Milton Avenue. Once runners reach Milton Avenue, they'll run all the way to Main Street/GA 9. Another right turn takes them onto Main and it's a race mostly downhill to Old Milton where they will make yet another right turn. That takes them past the Mansell House again, and the finish line will be on the west side of the Alpharetta City Pool.
"That's 5K. The 10K does a second loop," Benson said. "We also have a one-mile fun run for the kids."
Participants vary from the near elite to pedestrian walks, he said. Some 10K times have been in the mid to high 30-minute range, with some 5K times around 15 or 16 minutes.
"Then we've got people that take an hour to walk the 5K," he said.
Runners will consider the course moderately hilly.
"The hills on Wills and Milton are pretty difficult. But Main Street and Old Milton are relatively flat," Benson advised. "It's tough in the middle, but it's an easy course at the beginning and the end, and it's a nice downhill finish."
This year the Rotary Club has a raffle that goes with the race with the winner getting a trip to Disney World, complete with entry into the Walt Disney Marathon.
Register at www.active.com, call 678-795-0115 or on race day starting at 6 a.m. The 5K/10K starts at 7:15 a.m., with the Fun Run being held after the 5K ends, probably at 8:30 a.m.
Alpharetta Rotary Club meets at Alpharetta Presbyterian Church at 1980 Academy Street every Friday at 7:15 a.m.