With one complete and another around the corner, David Matherne is thrilled to see the return of in-person racing. After months of overseeing virtual events, Wire2Wire Running ushered in a new normal with the Bartow Fellowship of Christian Athletes ‘SonRise 5K’ July 25.
“Returning to live races has been like a homecoming experience,” said Matherne, who owns Wire2Wire Running along with Matt Terry. “You’ve been away for a while and you miss your family and friends, and then you return and everything just feels — right. Doing FCA’s ‘SonRise 5K’ was a lot like that. Not since Jan. 18 in Gainesville, Florida, has Wire2Wire put on a live race.
“We’ve had nearly a dozen races rescheduled or canceled. So like nearly every business, we’ve had to make adjustments. The fantastic turnout for SonRise was refreshing. In fact, this was their third annual and they nearly had more than the previous two years combined. Folks were keeping their social distance, volunteers all had masks, but the race was otherwise normal. This gives us hope that now more live races will follow.”
Set for Aug. 13, Wire2Wire will present its inaugural Dellinger Dash 3K at Dellinger Park, 100 Pine Grove Road. Held on Matherne’s birthday, the event will see how fast participants can complete one loop around the Cartersville site’s vita path.
Runners can sign up in advance at www.active.com, with the 3K race costing $20 for adults 18 and older and $15 for 17 and younger, and the 1K — one lap around Dellinger’s lake — featuring a $12 fee for 8 and younger. On race day, registration fees will increase to $28 for the Dellinger Dash 3K and $18 for the Lake Lap 1K.
“Matt and I have been excited about this new race we came up with for a year now,” Matherne said. “One lap around the park at Dellinger as fast as you can go. Hundreds of people do thousands of laps around Dellinger’s vita trail each year—run, walk, jog—but how fast can you do it once around? We’re about to find out Thursday, Aug. 13, at 7 p.m.
“That’s my birthday and it’ll be a wonderful birthday present to see our community do this race we’ve been dreaming about for so long. And for the kids 8 and under, we have the Lake Lap 1K so it’s fun for the whole family. We want folks of all ages to come and celebrate fitness and the outdoors.”
While Wire2Wire’s lineup for August will see the emergence of this new race, one of its annual events is postponed until fall.
“The Downtown Cartersville 5K to benefit Backpack Buddies had to move its race to Saturday, Oct. 31, because they just didn’t have enough runway to get the word out with school starting a bit later,” Matherne said, noting the race originally was planned for Aug. 22. “So we considered dates and felt that Oct. 31 would be perfect with a Halloween theme, etc.
“This way also we could have a live, in-person race on the same course downtown. We are prepared to send folks out in ‘waves’ to establish proper social distancing because safety is our primary focus.”
Striving to alleviate hunger among Bartow's at-risk youth, Backpack Buddies was established locally in 2010 and served 1,038 students in the Bartow County and Cartersville school systems weekly last school year. During the school year, the Backpack Buddies program supplies food, ranging from granola bars to ravioli, for prequalified students to eat over the weekend.
“The Backpack Buddies program provides over 1,000 students in the Bartow County and Cartersville City School Systems with local meals,” said Kelly Whitmire — homeless liaison/foster care POC for Bartow County Schools — who coordinates the Backpack Buddies program with Maria Davis and Paula Womack from Cartersville City Schools. “Our partnership with Wire2Wire to put on the Backpack Buddies 5K helps us to not only raise funds needed to support the program but allows us to continue to bring community awareness to the need through participation in a fun event.
“We have been overwhelmed by the success of the Backpack Buddies 5K and how much this community supports the Backpack Buddies program. We look forward to a fun race in October.”
For more information, individuals need to visit Wire2Wire Running’s website, www.wire2wirerunning.com, or Facebook page.