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Riverfront Run brings family fun

Elvis, aka Chuck Knight, gets a brisk start alongside other runners in the Riverfront Run event presented by the Dougherty County Medical Society Saturday morning. DCMS is promoting the “Exercise is Medicine” initiative raising awareness of the benefits of physical activity and exercise.

Elvis, aka Chuck Knight, gets a brisk start alongside other runners in the Riverfront Run event presented by the Dougherty County Medical Society Saturday morning. DCMS is promoting the “Exercise is Medicine” initiative raising awareness of the benefits of physical activity and exercise.

ALBANY, Ga. — The Riverfront Run along the Flint River brought out Elvis and a guy in a skirt, uh, make that a kilt Saturday.

Michael Gaure, an owner of the Cask & Kilt Irish Pub ran the course wearing a kilt instead of more traditional sweats or running shirts.

“It is a bit of shameless promotion,” Gaure said. “But I am a runner for fitness. The kilt just makes running a little cooler. There is no warmth on the legs.”

Along with Gaure about 360 people turned out to run the 5K or walk a mile to raise awareness of exercise as medicine in the Dougherty County Medical Society sponsored event. Registration fees added money to Darton College’s Allied Health Scholarship Fund.

“We have scholarships to train allied health workers for job,” said Martha Snow, of Darton. “The jobs include physical therapy assistant, cardio-vascular technicians, dental hygienists and a lot more fields.”

Runners were set to start at 8:30 a.m. to take on the course that would lead them along a paved trail behind the Welcome Center on Front Street to an off-road section that runs through the Oxford Environmental Park Nature Trail and back.

The mile walkers were supposed to start at 8:40 a.m. Things didn’t go according to plan. Many walkers were so eager to begin they started with the runners. They just might have been sucked into walking 5K instead of just a mile for their efforts.

One of the younger walkers crossed the finish line at a run after a mile. Harper Buntin, a home-schooled kindergarten student was just warming up. He was off to a soccer game next.

“This is a family run,” said Harper’s father Bill. “I’m here with my wife Melinda Greenfield and our older son Courtland.”

Three new members of the Albany Run/Walk Club followed Chuck Knight, club leader, dressed in a white jumpsuit and gold trim as a healthy Elvis, onto the course to begin the run.

Patti Shellhaas, Ruby Long and Sabra Cowart liked the idea of exercising together and joined the club to get in shape. They said exercising as a group gives a little more motivation to their exercise plans.

“It is also a social activity,” Long said. “When you know you are expected by the others, you show up.”

The idea is that the people who showed up for the Riverfront Run will continue their exercise as a lifestyle.

“My wife and I both run,” said Carl Sagasser. “We’re trying to set an example for kids to come out.”