According to an article in the Athens Banner-Herald, the local YMCA will be hosting the Coach Mike’s Health Run, an Athens tradition, on August 13. Runners will begin at 8 a.m. at the Hawthorne Avenue athletic facility’s track before racing along the trails that wind through the trees behind the building.
This year’s race is aptly titled “Run Through the Woods.”
The 5K is named in honor of UGA coach Mike Castronis, who played as a lineman for the Bulldogs from 1943-1945. Castronis later returned to the university in 1961 as head coach of the freshman team. Later, he served as offensive line coach under Vince Dooley.
Castronis also played a pivotal role at the Athens YMCA, which he first visited in 1947. The coach led workouts and devotions and even worked the Y Camp for 37 summers.
Coach Castronis passed away in 1987, but his love of fitness and the local YMCA lives on. His wife, 93-year-old Orlean Castronis still exercises at the YMCA daily.
Those interested in participating are encouraged to register by calling the YCMA at (706)543-6596. Registration is $25 with all proceeds going to the Y’s youth programs.
A plethora of Athens businesses have sponsored the race to help make it possible. This year’s sponsors include Athens First Bank & Trust, Publix, Stewart Clinic Chiropractic Group, and many others.
Last year’s Coach Mike’s Health Run saw 74 participants from various towns and cities. The runner who came in first was Justin Ingles of Athens with a time of 19:00.9.
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