Butterflies and Bridges 8K to benefit Selma athletic department

Published 7:59 pm Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hundreds of runners took part in last year’s Butterflies and Bridges 8K.  This year’s race will be held Saturday,  April 16. The race will take runners through downtown and over the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Hundreds of runners took part in last year’s Butterflies and Bridges 8K. This year’s race will be held Saturday, April 16. The race will take runners through downtown and over the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

The Selma City Schools Athletic Department is hosting the ninth annual Butterflies and Bridges 8K race and 2-mile fun run on Saturday, April 16 at Selma High School at 8 a.m. The race will begin at Selma High School, take runners around historic downtown Selma, over the Edmund Pettus Bridge and back down Broad Street to the finish line of Selma High.

Race coordinator Bill Potter said he is hoping between 175 and 200 people participate in this year’s race. The proceeds from the race will go toward the Selma City Schools Athletic Department.

Potter said in the past, the money raised from the race has helped supply new workout and playing equipment and fund road trips for the athletes in Selma City Schools. He believes that getting kids involved in sports will make them better students as well.

“Trying to keep them in school, keep them motivated and the better environment we can provide for them through fundraisers like this, the easier it is to get them involved in sports,” Potter said.

The race also offers $450 in cash prizes. The first place finishers from the male and female category will win $100. Second place receives $50 and third place earns $25. In addition, the first place male and female in the under-19 category will take home $50.

The winner of each age group will also win a medal. The ages will be broken up as follows: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 and over.

Last year, Tony Johnson was the first place overall finisher with a time of 31:57 and Ann McClendon led the female overall category with a 42:50 finish time.

The male record for the race is held by Justin Parker, who set it in 2010 with an 8K time of 27:24. Stephanie Ridgway set the record for the women when she ran the race in 32:22 in 2012.

There is a $100 bonus prize to anyone who can set a new record this year. After the race, there will be an awards ceremony in front of Selma High, as well as a post-race drawing for prizes donated by local businesses.

While there is a lot at stake for the competitive runners, Potter said the race is for anyone who wants to be active. He said he’s talked to many people who will be walking the 2-mile run with their Fitbit to get their 5,000 steps in for the day.

“Even though it’s called a competitive race, you can always challenge yourself to do a little bit more,” Potter said.

Runners can pre-register for the race at selmacitysports.com or at any of the Selma City schools. In addition, runners can visit the Vaughan Wellness and Fitness Center, located at 630 Medical Center Parkway, or the YMCA of Selma-Dallas County, located at 1 YMCA Drive, to pre-register for the race.

Checks can also be mailed and made out to the Selma City Schools Athletic Department at Selma High School, 2180 Broad Street, Selma, AL, 36701.

All pre-registration entries must be postmarked before April 11. The cost to pre-register is $20 for ages 14 and older and $10 for ages 13 and under. To register on race day, the cost is $25 for ages 14 and older and $15 for ages 13 and under. Race day registration and race packet pick-up will take place from 6:30 – 7:30 a.m. at Selma High School.

Potter is counting the days until race day.

“I’ve been running for over 40 years and I enjoy it,” Potter said. “For me, it’s fun just to see everyone out and running and having a good time, whether they’re a competitive runner or whether they’re a casual walker.”

About Justin Fedich

Staff writer for The Selma Times-Journal.

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