The History of the Nearly Famous
Ellaville Road Race

In preparation for the Ellaville/Schley county homecoming in 1980, the late Endine Hart encouraged me to put on a road race as a part of the days events. The rest is history. From 1980-1982 the race was known as the Ellaville Road Race. Road racing was in its heyday during those years and the Ellaville race seemed to be a big favorite with runners. Someone suggested that we were
becoming very famous and maybe should call the race " The  Famous Ellaville Road Race". But of course, fame is a destination and not a place. It's kind of like stepping on your shadow--Try as you might, you just never can quite do it. It is always nearly but not quite.

That was and still is the story of the race--We strive to be famous but always seem to fall just short of the mark. Hence the name change in 1983 we became "The (nearly famous) Ellaville Road Races. The feature race, 5 miles in those days, was a favorite of runners from all over the Southeast.

In 1983 and 1984, Running in Georgia magazine named us the top race in Georgia. In 1984 and 1985, yours truly, was named race director of the year in Georgia. On 6 different occasions the race has been won by Olympians. John Tuttle won it four times, Craig Virgin once, and Marty Flynn of Ireland once. Tuttles 23:45 in 1983 and Kim Trupps 27:25 in 1986 are the fastest times ever run in the state of Georgia for the 5 mile distance. The races were not run for a few years during the early 90s but started up again about mid decade. The distance was shortened to 5K-(3.1 miles). In 2003 the 5K was dropped and since that time only the one mile is contested as it has been since 1980.

The race is open to all Schley County school children and all get to run it FREE. Each runner gets a (nearly famous) t-shirt before the race and a medal upon completion of the race. The race has 20 local sponsors who cover all expenses. In fact, because of their generous support, we make enough profit to provide running shoes to all of the track and cross country runners on the Schley County high school teams each year. Just another example of what a wonderful place Ellaville/Schley County is. The race starts at the historical marker in front of the courthouse.

Race time is 8:00 A.M. It is quite a sight to see nearly, there's that word again, 400 kids toe the starting line. I urge you all to be here to see the race as once again, we strive to become Famous. See you on April 15th. Tommy

 

Our thanks to Tommy Barnes for sharing this.

 

 

   
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