Greyhound 5K Important to Student-Athletes, Community
The third rendition of Mid-South Community College’s Greyhound 5K Run/Walk is less than seven weeks away, and the excitement and anticipation is building on our campus and in our community. With ongoing, generous support of Southland Park Gaming and Racing (our title sponsor all three years), the annual event will start and end on our beautiful campus on Saturday, Oct. 4.
This race, in terms of its potential proceeds, plays a major role in our institution’s efforts to provide athletic scholarships for our basketball players. Three years ago, Tommy Goldsby made a $75,000 commitment in honor of Terry McFarland to fund the awards through the 2014-15 season (up to $25,000 per year). We promised Mr. Goldsby that we would create an event or series of happenings which would supplant that financing going forward. The Greyhound 5K has become that event.
Our first two races generated a significant amount of money toward that end, and we continue to keep the $25,000-per-year goal in our crosshairs. Those with much more race experience than I possess have said that number is certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Our contact at Start 2 Finish, the company which manages and times the Greyhound 5K, said a yearly participation growth rate of 10 percent is reasonable and that the third year is often the one with the greatest increase.
I believe we can meet our goal for a number of reasons. Among the most compelling is our ongoing effort to ensure that the Greyhound 5K has everything it needs to be known locally and regionally as a first-class event. When we take on a project, it’s going to be the coolest thing around because that’s what people have come to expect from us. And we expect nothing less from ourselves. We’re always looking to take things to the next level.
Keeping the Greyhound 5K in a growth mode, however, requires an all-hands-on-deck mentality from our employees, financial supporters, and race participants.
The Greyhound race is not a Glen Fenter project or even solely a Mid-South Community College project. We rely heavily on our sponsors — Southland (Title); Evolve Bank (Platinum); Flash Market, Inc., Ford of West Memphis, and Steele-Guiltner Tire Pros (Gold); State Rep. Deborah Ferguson, Barton Powersports, and Arkansas Distributing Company (Silver), and Acme Pest Management, CareerPro Drug Screening, and Greenway Equipment Company — to create a positive and memorable event.
In addition, our local runners and walkers are invaluable to the effort. Last year, about 200 of our registrants hailed from Crittenden County. That’s a great response, but we need even more folks from our area to join in the fun.
Since 400-plus people signed up for last year’s race, another 200 or so came to West Memphis from other cities and states, including San Jose, Cal., and Stone Mountain, Ga. That becomes a great opportunity for us to make a positive impression on our visitors.
So get up off the couch or out of that recliner and help us make the Third Annual Greyhound 5K an event to remember. You’ll be helping Greyhound basketball players as well as the entire community.