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Hairy legs and high heels raise money at Albany event (Photo gallery)

Albany guys go heeling it down the track against sexual abuse

While some runners liked a matching duct tape to secure their attractive red pumps, others preferred the so-called "South Georgia chrome." (Staff Photo: Jim West)

While some runners liked a matching duct tape to secure their attractive red pumps, others preferred the so-called "South Georgia chrome." (Staff Photo: Jim West)

ALBANY — You can never know what “feet” you’re capable of until you give it your heart and “sole.” And before you “spike” that idea, picture some 60 Albany men having a relatively high-speed jaunt around a running track while wearing red high-heeled shoes.

On Saturday, for the fourth year in a row, that scene took place at the Deerfield-Windsor School Upper Campus track.

It was called Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event presented by the Lily Pad Center of Albany to raise money and awareness to fight sexual abuse of women. Onlookers may have wondered, though, why “walk” was even in the title, as the majority of the all-male group — some accessorized to the hilt — took off like rabbits in their pretty, size 12 pumps, putting one spike before the other until they’d gone around four times.

“I impressed myself today,” Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards said, “but I’m still in the closet. I’m staying in. (Running in high heels) is a learned skill I wish I’d practiced. I also wish I’d had some extra padding in my shoes.”

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Greg Edwards, Dougherty County district attorney, shows off the accessorized outfit he wore during his time around the track. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

Edwards said he turned out for the race because of the enthusiasm of his staff for fighting sexual abuse of women, and because of their efforts in collecting money for the cause.

“This is a part of our mission, in terms of dealing with crimes against women,” Edwards said, “so it’s important for me to be a part of supporting Lily Pad.”

When Edwards, who finished at a respectable pace, was asked if he was trying to come in first, he replied that was not his objective.

“I was trying to survive,” Edwards said.

“We appreciate the great participation we’ve had from the Marine Corps, as well as our local law enforcement, the business owners and community members,” said Mary Martinez, interim director of the Lily Pad. “Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

“This event is to allow our community to understand that even though sexual assault does happen, we’re all here together in the fight against it.”

Martinez called Saturday’s event an “exceptional day,” one that brought a large turnout of participants and spectators, as well as about $15,000 in revenue to be used in the fight against sexual assault.

Statistics show that since 1993 the rate of sexual abuse of women has fallen by about 50 percent, and Martinez said she believes the drop is due in part to awareness efforts like Saturday’s race.

“I came out here to support a great cause, to raise awareness for this type of event,” said Capt. Justin Jacobs from Marine Corps Logistics base-Albany, who had the fastest time in the event. “Sexual assault prevention is a great cause in this community and across the nation. I want to help out every time I can.”

Charles Goodson, also with MCLB-Albany, was selected as having the “best legs” at the event. Tim Parks was the wildest walker, while Rodney Brown was seen as the most spirited walker. Greg Edwards and his supporting staff at the D.A’s office won a trophy for the most money raised.