Early Saturday morning, while many Athens residents were sleeping in, hundreds of runners took part in the second annual Milledge Mile race, which was open to runners of all skill levels.
The events began at 5:30 a.m. when the 194 racers registered, picked up their T-shirts and bibs at Clarke Central High School, and paid their $25 registration fees.
The race was spaced out in 20-minute intervals. The first wave began at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Milledge and Dearing, then it went down to Milledge Avenue before ending at Five Points. The race was completed by 9 a.m.
The overall winner of the race was James Quattlebaum, 23, with a time of 4:13. The overall female winner was Shawanna White, 39, who had a time of 5:21. Quattlebaum received $1,000 as the male winner and the overall winner with White receiving $500 for being the female winner.
David Dwyer, the 24-year old second-place finisher, was awarded $250 and third place runner, Alex Stolz, 21, was awarded $100.
The proceeds of the race went to Mercy Health Center, who had a handful of its board members run the race, including Alison Norris, who placed second in her age range (45-49) with a time of 6:45.
“I was thrilled, I mean, we were all more than excited to be a part of it,” Norris said. “Even my son came to join me.”
It didn’t matter to Norris that her son beat her because she outran the mark she set last year.
“My time last year was around 7 minutes,” said Norris. “So, you can just feel how excited I am to have reached a time much lower than that.”
Norris said she is a firm believer in the importance of local events and the impact they can have on the community.
Despite the high humidity in Athens, the runners were all ready to show what they had. No one went over the time of 20 minutes.
The youngest runner was 5 years old and the oldest was 72 years old.
At the end of the race, everyone stayed for the ceremony to congratulate those who had the slowest times. Awards were given out and smiles and laughs were shared.
“I feel great, there is such a great atmosphere here," Norris said. "You don’t even have to go to the Olympics. Just come to Athens and watch us run. The last wave is just amazing. Everything about this race is just so unique, there’s no denying it.”