Cold doesn’t stop runners

awoolen@macon.comJanuary 8, 2014 

WARNER ROBINS -- Despite temperatures dipping below freezing, the Robins Pacers running group met before dawn.

The group of 10 people with reflective jackets, hats and gloves were enthusiastic about starting their run Saturday morning.

Don McMahan, 58, has been in numerous marathons including the Boston Marathon in 2011. He normally runs with his daughter, Megan McMahan.

“We’ve been running together for years and years,” he said.

Most of the runners were entered in the 18th annual Museum of Aviation Foundation Marathon, Half-Marathon and 5K Run/Walk, which will be Jan. 18.

One of the participants, Andrew Adams, 27, said running was his New Year’s resolution.

He has entered in his first half-marathon at the museum.

Adams and McMahan paired off and were one of the first to leave the parking lot of Dunkin Donuts on Ga. 96. There the route takes the group to Cohen Walker Drive, where they run from Houston Lake Road, make a u-turn and head to Lake Joy Road, making another u-turn back to the parking lot.

“Running is like trying to quit smoking,” McMahan said. “It’s a lot of false starts.”

The groups have running partners to motivate them. They are grouped by how far they want to run and by how fast they run.

“Most of us have partners that run at the same pace,” said Michelle Rowell of Warner Robins.

Anyone is welcome to join the group, which has a website, www.robinspacers.org.

The racers who have previously participated in the musuem’s race joked that the weather was always frigid.

“The race has a knack for the coldest day of the year,” McMahan said.

The three races are part of the 2014 Run & See Georgia Grand Prix Series. Proceeds from the annual even benefit the Museum of Aviation. Because of its popularity, organizers have capped the participants at 1,500.

The start time for the marathon is 8 a.m., half-marathon will start at 8:15 a.m. and the 5K Run/Walk will start at 8:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies will be held in the Century of Flight Hangar.

Runners who finish the marathon and half-marathon will receive medals.

For more information, visit www.museumofaviation.org.

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