Defiant Run celebrates diversity

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 26, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Something as simple as a marathon can change a person’s perspective on life.

Individuals are getting their legs and sneakers ready for the Defiant Run. Some people may experience more than a workout.

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“It stretches your social boundaries more,” said Bill Potter, Bush Hog product manager, who will be a participant.

The 13-mile road race and obstacle course is slated for Saturday, March 31 at 9 a.m. Sign-in is at 8 a.m. at the Performing Arts Center.

This is the fourth annual run for the city. During the run, two people of different races will be handcuffed to each other and will have to work together to make it to the finish line. The concept is to promote diversity.

“I think that’s what Frank’s been trying to do, is get us all more involved with each other,” Potter said of founder and organizer Frank Hardy.

The race will begin in Selmont on Roosevelt Avenue and end back at the Performing Arts Center.

And for those who may not be up to the 13-mile race, they can participate in the shorter 5K Fun Run and Walk.

According to Hardy, people have been calling from all over the nation to find out how they can participate. Hardy also said people who have already committed to the run thus far are from Vermont, Kentucky, Minnesota and Georgia.

“I’m hoping that the corporate community sees this as an opportunity to really market Selma and gets behind this event,” Hardy said. “Not just the corporate community, but the schools and the churches should also use this opportunity to embrace diversity and create a whole new image for our community.”

The winners will be announced at the suit-and-tie ceremony back at the Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m. that evening. Monetary prizes will be awarded in five divisions for first ($500), second ($250) and third ($100) places – male, female, co-ed, 12 and under, and 50 and under. Different prizes will be awarded to the 5K Fun Run participants.

According to Potter, Bush Hog’s management staff has been encouraging employees to participate in the run.

“It’s a way for Bush Hog to become more involved in community projects and it fall in line for some of the other physical fitness programs we’ve got going.”

A runner himself, last year was Potter’s first Defiant Run.

“It was fun,” Potter said. “I’m not a particularly social person. It kind of forced me to do things that would stretch me to go beyond what I normally would do.”

All participants under legal age must be registered by a parent or guardian. Entry forms my be obtained from the Centre for Commerce Building, located at 912 Selma Ave., by calling 872-0426 or coming by 1418 Union St. The entry fee is $25 per person.