familiar spring event is on tap for this weekend, bringing
more than a hundred runners and spectators together at a
beloved Henry County spot. The eighth annual Peach Stand
Road Race, Locust Grove’s answer to the Peachtree Road Race,
is set to begin Saturday morning next to the Gardner peach
stand on Hwy. 42 at the northern end of the city. It is
sponsored by Locust Grove’s Main Street Program.
Participants take time for a
photo at last year’s Peach Stand Road Race. The 2014 race
will be held this Saturday.
was founded when a member of the Gardner family was on the
Main Street board and had the idea to tie it to the location
of the peach stand. It has always taken place Memorial Day
weekend because that is when the peach stand traditionally
opens for the summer as the first batch of peaches comes in,
according to Sherry Moon, this year’s race organizer.
raised from the race are used for façade grants and other
activities to support businesses in the city – “whatever
helps the beautification of downtown,” as Moon put it.
has grown a bit every year, with about 150 participating in
2013. About 80 were signed up as of last Friday morning, and
there are always plenty who sign up the day of the race,
course starts on Jackson Street just across the railroad
tracks from the peach stand, heading south toward downtown.
Turning on Bowden Street, the runners pass the senior center
and turn on Mose Brown Drive and Davis Lake Road before
getting back to Jackson Street. The first and last legs of
the race are the same.
is minimally affected on the route during this time, and the
city’s police department is on hand to assist with that,
run the race every year of its existence along with a few
others. Actually, she walks most of the course, she said
with a chuckle. She runs from the start to about the first
driveway on Jackson Street then starts running again when
she gets back to that point so she can run across the finish
of the participants tackle the course in a similar fashion.
a lot of moms with babies in strollers. There are a lot of
walkers,” she said. “People come out just to have fun and
for the community aspect of it.”
are more serious runners, however, can take heart. There are
prizes for top finishers, and the race is officially timed
so that those who want a sanctioned race time can have one.
registration is $15 for ages 17 and under or $20 for 18 and
over. The cost goes up $5 just before the race. “Phantom
runner” registration, meaning you can sleep in and still get
the T-shirt, is $20.
begins at 8 a.m., but runners can register online by going
www.locustgrove-ga.gov and clicking on the link for the