Defiant Run enters home stretch

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 24, 2004

Times-Journal Writer

The final countdown to the second annual Defiant Run begins today.

It’s time for participants to find a partner and get their feet prepared for the half marathon run/walk set for Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.

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The Defiant Run, hosted by the Selma Youth Development Center, is a race and obstacle course in which two competitors of different backgrounds link together and seek to create racial unity through team work.

The route of the Defiant Run begins at the Selma Mall and winds its way through the city until the teams of walkers and joggers find themselves back at the mall.

“I’m going to have long days between now and Saturday getting prepared for the race,” said Defiant Run organizer Frank Hardy. “We are going to start work on the obstacle course (Friday).”

Everyone in the community is invited to take part in the half marathon-even if they don’t have a partner-to show the rest of Selma that they are embracing cultural diversity and willing to come together as one community.

“I’ve gotten commitments from members of the Selma Police Department and the Selma Fire Department,” said Hardy. “I think it will be really great to see our city agencies out there representing their departments.”

To celebrate the achievement of completing the race, Hardy said trophies and some cash prizes will be given away at the mall around noon.

“We had several people committed to the race last year, but they pulled out at the last minute,” Hardy said. “I’m hoping this time people will feel obligated to the community and not pull out. We really need to rally the community and show what a wonderful opportunity this is.”

Though last year’s race started out small, the ultimate goal of the Defiant Run is to become the biggest annual event in the county

“This can be another means for our community to come together as one,” Hardy said.

Hardy said is he is also hoping to have students from the local high schools, as well as members representing their local churches, attend the event.

In conjunction with the Defiant Run, Dr. Bruce Taylor of Taylor Internal Medicines will conduct a health fair at the mall from 9 a.m. until noon. There will be health screenings and an opportunity to discuss health-related issues with professionals.

“I really need to say ‘thank-you’ to a lot of people,” Hardy said. “Tim Woods of the Central Alabama Farmers Co-op is supplying us with hay for the obstacle course, and I really appreciate what he is doing for us.”

Anyone interested in joining the Defiant Run needs to sign-up at the mall before the race begins at 8 a.m.

For more information regarding the Defiant Run, contact the Selma Youth Development Center at 872-0426.