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Riverfront Run event set for Oct. 22

Dr. Jose Tongol, an oncologist at the Phoebe Cancer Center, participates in the 2010 Riverfront Run event. Tongol is one of the founders of the race, which will be run again on Oct. 22.

Dr. Jose Tongol, an oncologist at the Phoebe Cancer Center, participates in the 2010 Riverfront Run event. Tongol is one of the founders of the race, which will be run again on Oct. 22.

ALBANY -- While promoting the "Exercise is Medicine" initiative, the Dougherty County Medical Society has another event coming up it hopes will help keep that movement going forward.

The Riverfront Run, featuring 5K and one-mile events, will be held on Oct. 22.

The event, being presented by DCMS, is being held as a way for physicians to lead by example and share with their patients the importance of incorporating physical activity and exercise into their daily routines.

"We felt like this would be an event to help kick start (exercise routines) into people's lives," said DCMS Executive Director Paula Bacon. "It shouldn't end with just this race. This starts off a season of races.

"Keep the motivation going. You not only get the opportunity to exercise, but to continue it throughout the year."

The race was initially begun by Bacon and Dr. Jose Tongol, an oncologist at Phoebe Cancer Center and DCMS president.

"We see a lot of obesity," Tongol said. "We have to do something. We have to be aware of the benefits of exercise.

"The idea is community involvement. Be aware of the importance of exercise. A few minutes of exercise means a lot for your own welfare. We have to do it now; there are too many people obese."

Registration the day of the race will be from 7 a.m.-8:15 a.m. The 5K begins at 8:30 a.m., and the one-mile begins at 8:40. There is also an opportunity to register and pick up race packets at the Albany Welcome Center from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. on Oct. 21.

Registration cost ranges from $22-$30 depending on how early participants register or the event they are participating in. Those that register online will be able to do so at a reduced cost.

Trophies will be awarded to overall male and female winners, and medals will be presented to the top three men and women in their age divisions. All run and walk participants will be eligible for a door prize.

Officials will also be giving out royal blue technical fabric shirts rather than cotton T-shirts, and goody bags to those that participate.

Runners and walkers will be utilizing chip timing and a new 5K course. The out-and-back begins on a paved trail behind the welcome center, and includes overlooks along the Flint River.

At the midway point, the course goes "off road" and runs through the Oxford Environmental Park Nature Trail.

"The course will be something that will attract a lot of folks," Bacon said.

Both races are walker friendly.

"(This event) is a starting point. (Obesity) is a big challenge, especially for Southwest Georgia," Tongol said. "People realize it, but they don't want to."

DCMS is donating the race proceeds to the Darton College Foundation, Inc., Allied Health Program. Last year's race resulted in a $5,000 donation to the program.

Based on the responses received so far, officials ought to be able to raise more money this year.

"Race registrations are coming in like crazy," Bacon said. "About 80-90 percent of the area's health care workers are likely products of the (Darton) program, so it seems like a good fit to get behind it."

For more information, including a virtual tour of the course, visit www.riverfrontrun.com.