September 10, 2004
Patients, runners from across the state to benefit from fast-paced Reunion Race
By Lisa Uzzle Gates
Health and Research News Service
FLOWOOD, Miss.—Reunion Race, a 5-kilometer run/walk sponsored by Methodist Rehabilitation Center, is set for Saturday, Sept. 11 at 8 a.m. at the hospital’s east campus in Flowood.
The race, sanctioned by the Mississippi Track Club, raises funds for the non-profit hospital’s patient care fund. The fund helps patients purchase wheelchairs and other equipment vital to their everyday needs.
Jim Myrick of Madison has competed in the race every year since its beginning 19 years ago. A competitive runner since 1977, the 69-year-old was forced by back pain to slow down a bit and switch from competitive running to walking. He still trains every day and competes regularly.
“I walk twice a day, about 20 miles. That’s a lot of walking,” he said.
Myrick said he really enjoys the course the Reunion Race offers. Beginning at the hospital’s east campus on Layfair Drive, off Lakeland Drive, it winds along the quiet streets around the campus, and offers competitive walkers, runners and wheelchair racers the chance to improve their overall time.
“It’s the best course I’ve run,” Myrick said. “It’s flat and there is some shade along the way. It’s great for your time. And seeing the physically challenged athletes is always inspiring—they are so enthusiastic.”
Hundreds of runners, walkers and wheelchair racers from across the south are expected to participate in the race. Events include a 5-kilometer race/walk and one-mile fun run.
The race weekend kicks off with a pre-race party from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10 at Hal & Mal’s in Jackson. Pre-registered runners will be treated to food and beverages and pre-registration will be available onsite.
Sammy Safety, the hospital’s certified safety superhero, and Safety Saurus, the injury prevention dinosaur who survived extinction by playing it safe, will be at the pre-race party and at Reunion Race on Saturday, Sept. 11. The race will also feature Biker Dave’s Bicycle Stunt Show and free health screenings.
Reunion Race is $15 for pre-registration or $20 on race day. For more information about registering, call 601-364-3451 or go to methodistonline.org.
Sammy Safety, Methodist Rehabilitation Center's injury prevention mascot, leads the way at Reunion Race as runners and wheelchair racers hit the streets of Flowood. This year the hospital's annual fundraiser is on Sept. 11.