It took 40 years for the Dr. James H. Crowdis Run to celebrate its Silver Anniversary but it was worth the wait as the 25th edition proved historic.
Alli Hay, a Pataula Charter School graduate and currently a distance runner at Columbus State University, became the first female ever to cross the finish line first overall. Hay ran the 5K (3.1 mile) course in 19:40.9, nearly 15 seconds ahead of Dothan’s Richie Fernandez. Finishing second overall, Fernandez won the Overall Male award with a time of 19:54.3.
In the accompanying 10K (6.2 mile) race, New England native Joshua Grant was the overall winner in 35:57.9. Grant ran the second half of the race nearly a minute faster than the first half.
Dothan’s Carolyn Houston, who has won numerous awards at the Dr. Crowdis Run, took the Overall Female award with a time of 48:46.2
The cold, windy conditions kept a number of registered runners at home but, of those who endured the conditions, many established personal bests. The 10K was the largest ever and provided the most competitive times yet.
Hay’s performance set the tone for the day as more than 60 percent of the participants were female.
Five runners, all female, accepted and completed the 5K/10K Challenge by running both races which started an hour apart. Challenge finishers were Melissa Saunders of Marianna, Kim DeLaney of Lake City, FL, and Libby Mills, Kim Kendrick and Tara Whaley, all of Dothan.
Despite the weather and the concern for Covid, a total of 91 registered for the event including several who chose to participate virtually.
Early County native Carl Hobbs, who had participated in every event since the race formerly known as the Blakely Heart Fund Run was renamed the Dr. Crowdis Run in 1983, participated virtually to keep his streak alive.
Eleven-year-old Christian Freem was the first Blakely finisher with a time of 26:42 in the 5K.
The Dr. Crowdis Run would like to thank its many volunteers who helped keep the participants safe with their efforts to physical distance the participants and provide a contact-free event.
Sponsors of the event were One South Bank, Grist Oil Company, Brickyard Market, Blakely Chevrolet, The Crate Market, former Bobcat Randall Williams at B&R tees in Dothan, and former Bobcat Lamar Bush of Watkinsville.
Special thanks are due to Primary Care of Southwest Georgia. The race would also like to show appreciation to the First United Methodist Church, Chief Will Caudill and the Blakely Police Department, and Mayor Travis Wimbush.
The race is run in memory of Dr. James H. Crowdis, Jr., long time Blakely physician who headed the Blakely Heart Fund for more than three decades.