The Inaugural Buford Highway International Half-Marathon, 10K, 5K & 2-Mile Stroll, held Sunday Oct. 2, attracted over 700 participants and volunteers to the Buford Highway corridor. The community fitness event raised $4,800 for local charities and was sponsored by Sports DeKalb, Telemundo Atlanta, Xfinity, Atlanta Eats, We Love BuHi, WowNow, Olmstead Chamblee, Bai Juice, Ace Hardware Toco Hills and Snyder Cycles. Participants from 14 states were in attendance with a portion of registrants coming from different countries. The BuHi Half-Marathon 10K, 5K & 2-Mile Stroll courses led visiting participants along a six-mile stretch of Buford Highway, GA SR 13. The course passed through and was hosted by the cities of Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville. “We wanted to bring people to Buford Highway who have never been, as well as those that have been in the area, and already appreciate its offerings. We want participants to experience the variety of family owned restaurants and shops along the route and demonstrate that Buford Highway can be used for recreational and fitness purposes through tri-city partnerships,” said IWeLife Director Sean Pfister.
The community event highlighted the international culture and cuisine of Buford Highway while promoting fitness and raising funds for local charities. Volunteers from ten local charities: Hope Laugh Play, The Latin American Association, Children Read Atlanta, The Elaine Clark Center, I Will Survive, Inc., Rainbow Village, Raksha Inc., Peachtree Creek Greenway, Inc., Center for Pan Asian Community Services, and Open Hand Atlanta were on hand to work the event. “Our charity volunteers provided critical support for us,” said Charity Coordinator Erin McGurk, “We are proud to have them as partners and to help each organization raise funds to fulfill their missions.” Ten food partners: Cien Puras Tortas, Lee’s Bakery, The Buford Highway Farmers Market, La Mei Zi, Xela Pan, Tempoe Doeloe, Las Delicias De La Abuela, Hong Kong Bakery, Penang, and Northern China Eatery were on hand at the Plaza Fiesta finish line with tasty food samples for participants.
Presenting sponsor Sports Dekalb’s Neil Hibbert greeted the crowd as the sun came up, “This inaugural event is monumental and holds true to the mission and vision to promote sports activities and events in Dekalb. With over 65 different spoken languages in Atlanta’s Dekalb, BuHi represents our vast culture and cuisine. The Buford Highway International Half Marathon is more than just a race. It’s a charitable event benefiting our community. Sports Dekalb is proud to be a presenting sponsor.”
The Half Marathon was won by Jonathan Corso, 47, of Decatur, GA in a time of 1 hour 20 minutes and 19 seconds. Lily Ye, 38, of Atlanta GA was the half marathon female champion, covering the course in a time of 1:37:37. The 10K champion was 21 year old Austin Matese of Jupiter, FL in a time of 43:09. Michelle Panneton, 32, of Atlanta, GA was the 5K female champion, only two seconds behind. The 5K champion was 26 year old Nathen Pulliam of Doraville, GA in a time of 21:32. Heather Lee, 15, of Suwannee, GA was the 5K female champion. All race results can be found http://www.buhihalf.com/results.html
In addition to race awards the event had two raffles prizes. Briana Camelo won a $700 bike from sponsor Snyder Cycles in Tucker Ga and Sheelagh O’Malley won a large Big Green Egg from sponsor Ace Hardware Toco Hills. Participants were treated to Bai Juice, a Mariachi band, bounce house, face painting, food samples from ten BuHi restaurants, ten charity partner information booths, a DJ and sponsor booths for Olmstead Chamblee and Telemundo Atlanta.
The BuHi Half team gives a special thanks to Sgt. Justin Young of the Brookhaven Police Department, Lt. Jim Wiley of the Chamblee Police Department and Major Chuck Atkinson of the Doraville Police Department for their work in ensuring a safe, well-managed event. “The planning and organization efforts provided by these officers on behalf of their respective departments was unparalleled in my experience as a race director.” said event orgainzer Sean Pfister, Director of IWeLife.
IWeLife invested an estimated total of $4,500.00 in the local economy to prepare for this inaugural event. “Positive feedback and constructive suggestions are currently pouring in online,” according to communications team members Julie Hubbard and Bonni Bigler. IWeLIfe is already planning for the second annual BuHi Half-Marathon in the fall of 2017. “We are reading all the comments and feedback from participants to make sure we grow and improve the race for years to come,” says IWeLife Director Sean Pfister.
More Pictures from the Buhi Half are available on True Speed Photo!
IWeLife is an Atlanta-based fitness event company with a mission of creating events that matter while actively engaging partners through strategic planning, program production and event promotion. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit buhihalf.com or call (678) 237-5434 for more information or to schedule an interview.