The Winter Park 10k Road Race will take place on Saturday, March 24, at 251 S. Park Ave., in Winter Park. The two-mile run will begin at 7 a.m. and the 10k race will begin at 7:30 a.m. The entry fee for the 10k race will be $35 until March 23. The two-mile race will cost $20 through March 17, and $25 through March 23. Visit http://www.trackshack.com to register.
In June of 1978, former Orlando resident Dave Reinhart took to the pavement and ran in a newly minted local race meant to raise money for a scholarship fund. At 26 years old, he won that race and would go on to win again in 1979. Now pushing 60, he hopes to return to take on the race once again, just before his birthday.
Reinhart is one of potentially 3,500 racers expected at the Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe 35th Annual Winter Park 10k Road Race & 2 mile James C. Barnett, M.D. Memorial Run on March 24. When he stepped up to the starting line 34 years ago, he was training for something much bigger.
“I was training at that time for the Olympic Trials in 1980, and being a track man in college and trying to keep my running career going, it was just another good event on the schedule,” he said.
Though he still doesn’t know for sure if he’ll be able to toe that line again, he’s hoping to make a comeback, and to help raise money for needy students in the process.
The event is being put on by Track Shack, an organization that promotes athletics through its Orlando retail store, events company and foundation that provides funding for charitable causes, particularly those that benefit youth and youth athletics.
The race was started by the Meridian Club of Winter Park, a local non-profit organization that's been involved with many service projects in the community for the last 35 years.
Proceeds of the event will benefit the club's scholarship fund. John Hughes, co-owner of Track Shack and this year’s race director, said he got involved with the event as a means to promote his retail store and his products. But once he got started he saw the potential for something more.
“As we did that, we realized that this was a great way to raise money for charities as well,“ he said.
Al Loudermilk, member of the Meridian Club of Winter Park, said last year the club gave away between $12,500 and $15,000 to five students through its scholarship fund, which helps local students attend college.
“Usually, it’s about five kids from either Orange or Seminole County, and we base it on need and on their grades, and we give them an unrestricted scholarship or check,” he said. “And the reason we do that is we don’t want to interfere with any other aid they may be receiving.”
The event is also held to honor Dr. James C. Barnett. Barnett was a Winter Park resident and physician at Jewett Orthopedic Clinic for 20 years. He was also a team physician for the Orlando Magic. He was an avid runner who promoted the blending of fitness and exercise in improving the quality of life of his patients.
This year’s event is being presented by Florida Hospital, one of the event’s corporate sponsors.
David Cassidy, assistant director of marketing and business development for Florida Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, said they normally offer some services at the events, such as free body fat screenings, as well as having primary care physicians or other guest physicians on hand. He said they will not be offering these services for this race — their tent is a food and recreational tent.
“We changed our tent for that particular race as a reward to our employees to get out there and get fit,” he said.