CPD to kick off 33rd an­nual Fuzz Run

The Covington News - - SPORTS - Mlewter@cov­news.com

For those look­ing to give back, ex­er­cise and have a good time all at once, the Cov­ing­ton Po­lice De­part­ment (CPD) has the so­lu­tion.

On Sept. 10, the CPD will host its 33rd an­nual Cov­ing­ton Fuzz Run, a com­mu­nity event that fea­tures a 5k road race, along with a one-mile Fun Run and a 50-foot sprint for kids aged 5 and un­der.

The first race be­gan in 1984 with over 100 run­ners, but ac­cord­ing to CPD Capt. Ken Mal­com, par­tic­i­pa­tion once stalled.

“At one point, our race went down to 47 run­ners on our 10th race, and we al­most can­celed it the fol­low­ing year, but we de­cided that we wanted to give it one more try to see if we can en­cour­age more par­tic­i­pa­tion,” he said. “We ad­ver­tised a lit­tle bit and went from 47 run­ners to 180 run­ners. Then af­ter that, we started dou­bling our num­bers each year, and last year we had 2,985 reg­is­tered participants.”

The Fuzz Run has evolved into one of the largest par­tic­i­pa­tory events in the com­mu­nity and has been rec­og­nized as be­ing the best 5k in the state, not just be­cause of the race, but also for the over­all event.

Dur­ing the Fuzz Run, run­ners — or walk­ers — get a chance for fel­low­ship with other com­mu­nity mem­bers and buy or re­ceive gifts from lo­cal ven­dors. This year, there will be door prizes for participants.

Participants can also give back to the com­mu­nity. Pro­ceeds from the race go to­ward the Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Who Care Fund, a 501c3 or­ga­ni­za­tion started by the CPD that for the fam­i­lies of fallen Ge­or­gia po­lice of­fi­cers. It has since evolved to also ben­e­fit New­ton County char­i­ties and in­di­vid­u­als in need in New­ton County.

“We give away thou­sands of dol­lars each year to groups or in­di­vid­u­als in our com­mu­nity that ex­pe­ri­ence some type of hard­ship,” Mal­com said. “The fund has evolved into an or­ga­ni­za­tion that as­sists our en­tire com­mu­nity. It is some­thing that has al­lowed us as po­lice of­fi­cers to help peo­ple in need. It’s a way of giv­ing back, and it’s also a way for of­fi­cers who have to see these hard­ships ev­ery day to help them deal with the tragedies that we see.”

This year, the CPD has part­nered with the New­ton County School Sys­tem (NCSS) to give $2 per run- ner back to the New­ton Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion Grant to as­sist teach­ers with schol­ar­ship ef­forts.

“Our goal this year is to reach even more stu­dents, teach­ers and fam­ily mem­bers that have chil­dren in the NCSS to help us put money back into their grant,” Mal­com said. “We gave them an ini­tial gift last month of $1,000. It’s our hopes that with the school sys­tem behind us, we can eas­ily give an­other $8- to 10,000 with a good re­sponse.

“This is as much of a com­mu­nity re­la­tions event as much as it is a fundraiser,” he said. “We al­ways joke that this is the most fun you can have at the po­lice sta­tion.”

The race will be­gin at 8 a.m. that Satur­day morn­ing, with the 5k start­ing and end­ing on Cony­ers Street.

Reg­is­tra­tion is $25 per in­di­vid­ual for the 5k and $25 for the Fun Run. It is $25 for teams to run in the 5k and $10 per child for the Kid’s Dash. A Fam­ily 4 Pack can also be pur­chased for the 5k for $75.

To reg­is­ter, visit cov­ing­ton­fuz­zrun.com.

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