Organizers for the 33-year-old annual signature race on the local running circuit announced Friday that it received the Road Runners Club of America’s Southern region championship designation for the 5K distance for 2014.
The Woodstock has held a state, regional or national championship designation the past seven years, including the national designation for the past three years and four of the past five.
“The Anniston Runners Club and Woodstock 5K race committee are honored to host the RRCA Southern Regional 5K Championship Race,” Woodstock race director Haley Gregg said. “Our race is a truly special event in this community, and the accolades we keep receiving are a testament of all the hard work from volunteers and past race directors, Dennis Dunn and Brooke Nelson.”
This year’s race, held Aug. 3, was the last Woodstock scheduled to hold an RRCA championship designation. The RRCA, which awards championship designations for various race distances, announced its intent to spread the 5K wealth among other deserving races around the country, and the national designation for 2014 went to a race in Tucson, Ariz.
Woodstock organizers applied for the 10-state Southern region championship for the 5K distance, and got it. The race was last the RRCA’s Southern 5K championship in 2010.
“The regional is the next best thing, and, honestly, it was a great surprise to receive this designation,” Gregg said. “We have not been off the RRCA calendar for quite some time, so the fact that they continue to award us championship titles is an achievement that deserves to be praised.
“To put this in a different perspective, when I view the national championship calendar for the RRCA, you see cities such as Napa, Calif.; Spokane, Wash.; and Alexandria, Va. So, to see Anniston, Ala., up there is a great/unexpected sight to see.”
Patrick Cheptoek won this year’s Woodstock and set a new course record of 14 minutes and five seconds. He also won in 2012.
Lydia Kosgei was this year’s top female finisher, completing the hilly, 3.1-mile course in 17:06.
Nearly 1,300 runners participated.
Sports Columnist Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter @jmedley_star.