Peach Run attracts near record numbers

Published 3:25 pm Monday, June 19, 2017

Over 115 participants took to the streets of Clanton for the 14th Annual Peach Run on June 17.

Douglas Mims was the top overall finisher in the 10K with a time of 39:46.

“It was pretty humid, but that’s pretty normal for this race,” Mims said.

Mims had participated in the event for about the past six years and has earned four victories during that time.

Samantha Sims raced in her fifth event and was the top female in the 10K with a time of 44:20.

“For the 10K, you have to train for the farther distance,” Sims said. “Running is a lot mental. I wanted to stop and do the 5K [only], but I had to push through to complete the 10K.”

According to Sims, the community feel of the event is evident. She has developed a relationship with many of her fellow runners and has a tradition of going to breakfast each year afterward.

As was the case for many of the participants in the Peach Run, running is a passion for Sims. She runs six days a week.

“We do a lot of things together,” Sims said. “Once you get here, it is just so much fun.”

Mims and Sims each run as members of the Chilton Runners group throughout the year, which is a Facebook group where people can go to that specific page and plan their runs for each day of the week.

“It really has picked up, I see a lot more people out there on the streets,” Mims said.

According to Barry Baker of Cornerstone Fitness & Wellness, it was possibly the most attended event in the 14-year history of the Peach Run.

The day began with 95 runners registered and walkup entries put the total number of attendees past the 115 mark.

“Amanda Giles and Lisa Childress are really the ones that helped put it all together this year,” Baker said.

There were plenty of visitors in this year’s event from Tennessee, Texas and Guam.

Barbara Tayama is from Guam and is on temporary duty at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery for a couple of months and decided to make the trip to Clanton and take part in the Peach Run.

“I was just looking for a race that was in the area,” Tayama said. “I wanted to come out and experience Clanton, the Peach Festival and just being a part of the event. The race and the hospitality of the residents was awesome.”

The heat and humidity that filled the air was nothing new to Tayama, with the tropical weather common in Guam. As a result, she ran the 10K portion of the event.

“Only the strong go long,” Tayama said. “Being an island girl, it was perfect weather for me to run the longer distance.”

It is definitely a unique way to view an area of a country or the world by entering the nearest run that area has to offer that weekend.

“Why not go and tour it on foot?” Tayama said.

Baker credited the Clanton Police Department for doing their part throughout the run to make sure that the necessary lanes were closed along the route and ensuring that each runner’s safety was top priority.

The top finishers in the male and female divisions at the 5K distance were a husband and wife tandem of Zach and Stephanie Ridgway.

Zach Ridgway finished with a time of 18:43, while Stephanie Ridgway clocked in at 23:23.