Clean & Green – Couch To Duck & Run 5K: Why Not You?

6-7-2016 8-53-01 AMKeep Athens-Limestone Beautiful promotes a healthy environment. Part of creating a healthy environment is to promote healthy living. Our Duck & Run 5K and Fun Run not only raises funds for KALB projects and programs, it also promotes healthy activity.

I’d like to introduce you to our Duck & Run 5K and Fun Run Race Coordinator. Eric Patterson has been running for 9 years, and is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in the sport of running. More 5Ks than we can count have seen Eric pass the finish line. He finished the 2011 Boston Marathon, several 50K races, a 50-mile run, including finishing a 26.2 mile marathon in less than 3 hours.

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Eric and his wife, Leigh (our office manager), have been coordinating our Duck & Run event for 7 years. They took over from Tanjie Schrimsher, who created the event and started it on the road to success in 2004.

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The 2016 Duck & Run will be held on Saturday, September 17th. Runners will gather and start the race at Big Spring Memorial Park (the duck pond) in Athens. The race takes runners through historic neighborhoods and around the Courthouse Square, then back to Big Spring Memorial Park.
This race is a fundraiser for Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful. We are a free-standing 501(c)3 nonprofit and must raise almost half of our annual budget through fundraisers, memberships, donations, and sponsorships.

6-7-2016 8-53-30 AMStill on the Couch?

That’s OK! If running a 5K is on your bucket list, there is a program just for you. Eric leads a 5K Training Program through the City of Athens Parks and Recreation Department to help beginners work up to participation in a 5K (3.1 mile) race. Eric is a native of Limestone County, a member of the Fleet Feet Racing Team, and a Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) certified running coach.
“Many people try to train on their own,” Eric Patterson said. “Some are successful. However, training with a group increases accountability and increases the chance that you will stick to it and meet your goals.” No previous running experience is necessary, but please check with your physician prior to starting any exercise program.

A Success Story

Our own Leigh Patterson was diagnosed with diabetes about 6 months ago. Leigh began making lifestyle changes, including participating in her husband’s running program. “I changed my diet, but that alone was not enough,” said Leigh. “I started training with Eric’s 5K group, and in 10 weeks I literally came from the couch to finishing a 5K. I could not have done this without the constant encouragement of the group. I would have quit on my own.” Not only did she complete the 5K, but she has lost weight and her blood sugars are back under control.

Registration – 5K Training Program

Registration is currently open through June 30th. Kickoff meeting is July 7th and training will begin July 11th. Register for this training program through the City of Athens Parks and Recreation Department at 256-233-8740. For more information about the program, contact Eric Patterson at

Registration for Duck & Run 5K and Fun Run
Registration is now open. Early registration is $20. Late and race day registration is $25. KALB members can receive a $5 discount when showing their current membership card. Visit and click on the EVENTS tab for information and registration for this race.
By: Lynne Hart

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