It was 2018 when Jay and Nicole Hosford decided to quit smoking. “Nicole and I quickly realized we needed to take up something healthy, so we began walking and then running,” Hosford explained.
That’s the short version of how Jay Hosford became the race director for the upcoming Historic Atkins-Porter Neighborhood Association (HAPNA) Scarecrow Classic 5K Run/Walk.
The event is slated for Saturday, October 29 at the Atkins-Porter Recreation Center. Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. with the race kicking off at 8:00 a.m. Sponsors include Henry County Medical Center Home Health and Hospice and RE/MAX Cornerstone Real Estate, both of which are in the HAPNA footprint. Hosford’s Electric and Abbott’s Print Shop also are race sponsors.
The Hosfords and their son, Slayden live in the Historic Atkins-Porter Neighborhood and thought a 5K through the streets of the picturesque area would make a beautiful autumn run. This is the third running event Hosford has produced in 2022. Earlier runs include the 5K “Hushpuppy Dash” for the World’s Biggest Fish Fry and the 5K “Hoofin’ It” for the Henry County Fair Board. The “Over the River Run” at Paris Landing is an eight-mile race on the Tennessee State Park Running Tour and is slated for December.
Like many of Hosford’s events, the Scarecrow Classic is a fundraiser. “We feel fortunate to have the this family in our neighborhood,” says Julie Leach, HAPNA board member and chairperson of the race and the botanical garden. “We have so many great events, but they, along with our beautiful botanical garden, take lots of money and time.
“While I have been a runner in the past, I’m a walker now and invite other walkers to the 5K to enjoy the neighborhood at a slower pace. We have many people who walk and run through these streets filled with gorgeous trees, historic homes, and garden scenery. It seems natural to invite them for a fundraiser to help support HAPNA,” says Leach.
Along with the beauty of the run, Hosford likes to emphasize the health benefits. In fact, he feels those benefits far out-weigh the racing aspect of the event. “Your only competition is yourself. It’s not about others, it’s all about you, your improved health and the camaraderie with other folks who are trying to do the same thing,” he says.
The Scarecrow Classic 5K Run/Walk will be great for old pros and beginners, alike, according to Hosford. “It winds from Atkins-Porter (A.P.) Rec Center down Park Street toward Whitehall Circle then back up to A.P. via Blanton Street. Run that route twice and you’ve done a 5K,” he says.
Visit HAPNA of Atkins Porter Neighborhood on Facebook, HapnaofParis on Instagram or EventBrite.com for more information or to register. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes.