Woodstock 5K

Woodstock 5K to Host RRCA National Championship

The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) has chosen a local road race in Anniston, Alabama, as its National 5K Championship event this year. The Woodstock 5K will take place on August 5, 2023.

The Woodstock 5K, held annually at Anniston High School along Woodstock Avenue, is in its 42nd year and is hosting the RRCA’s 5K national championship for the first time since 2018, and the sixth time overall in the race’s history. The race is organized by the Anniston Runners Club, a local non-profit organization, and all proceeds go towards benefitting the communities of northeast Alabama. Local schools, organizations, and the Arc of Calhoun & Cleburne Counties all receive profits of the Woodstock 5K.

As of July 25, over 900 runners from 11 different U.S. states, as well as Kenya, are coming to Anniston, Alabama, for the Woodstock 5K, surpassing last year’s numbers. Local runners make up the majority of the race’s entries, but there are also many elite runners participating in the Woodstock 5K, some of whom are returning from last year, all of whom have a potential to break the course record. This includes the previous two winners of the race, William Brown and Ethan Mines, as well as many runners from the Cahaba Distance Project and Alabama Kenyan Runners. Other elites participating include Noah George, who placed third last year, as well as Josh Whitehead, a Master Elite from Madison, and Ashley Walker from Montevallo’s cross-country team.

The first place winners (male and female) of the Woodstock 5K will receive a $500 reward; if the course record is broken in doing so, the reward is increased to $1000. Other cash prizes are also given for second and third place overall males and females, as well as master, grandmaster, and senior grandmaster winners. Patrick Cheptoek holds the male record with a time of 14:13, while Risper Gesabwa holds the female record with 16:06, both of which were set in 2012.

Other cash rewards are also being offered at the race. Last year, the prize purse was $2100, but the total amount of rewards has increased this year by $1200, for a total of a $3200 prize purse. Multiple team award categories have added cash prizes, with $300 each being awarded to the top competing runners’ teams for overall co-ed team, RRCA co-ed, overall male, female, and the team with the most members that cross the finish line. Previously, only the latter team received a cash reward, but all categories now receive a $300 prize.

The Woodstock 5K’s Team Challenge allows friends, family, schools, and other organizations to compile their individual times to win these awards. There is also the Kidstock 1K available to children from ages 1-11, occuring after the 5K finishes.

Woodstock volunteer service awards are also being given at this year’s awards ceremony, to recognize and honor those who have assisted with the organization of the 5K for over 10 years. This year’s recipients include Vernon Thomas of Sunny King Automotive, who has been the Woodstock 5K race announcer since 2013. Ken Goble, the maintenance supervisor of Anniston High School, has also worked behind the scenes to prepare the school grounds for over 15 years. The City of Anniston has also contributed to the Woodstock 5K for over 25 years, with plaques slated to be given to the city’s Police Department, Fire Department, and Public Works Department. RMC Health Systems has helped with Woodstock practice runs for 10 years by operating a water station, and will be honored.

A Woodstock Food Truck Festival will also be held on the Friday and Saturday of race weekend (August 4-5, 2023). Anyone can attend and buy meals at the food trucks, though race participants will be gifted seven $1 tickets to redeem at the trucks after they cross the finish line. When registering for the race, a number of perks are given to those who sign up, including a race T-shirt (depending on stock availability), a medal given after crossing the finish line, an iron-on patch for hats and jackets, as well as the chance

to win several door prizes, such as gift cards to local business and restaurants. Woodstock tanks and bib boards are also sold on the race’s registration site.

“We are honored this year to be hosting the RRCA National 5K Championship. It’s been a few years, and we are excited to be bringing it back to the city of Anniston. We thank the community and our sponsors for all the support that they have given,” said Hayley Long, 2022-2023 race director. RRCA CEO Jean Knaack will be attending the race, alongside other RRCA regional and state representatives.

The Woodstock 5K comes to Anniston on August 5, 2023. The price of entry is $35. The race starts at 7:30 A.M. For more information about the race, follow Woodstock5k on Facebook and visit the Anniston Runners Club website at http://www.annistonrunners.com/. The event also has its own official podcast, “Woodstock 5K – The Bird’s Word,” on Spotify.

Media Contact:

Coach Hayley Long
Anniston Runners Club
2022-2023 Woodstock Race Director [email protected]

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