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XC runners flock to Brooklet
PeanutFest 024

    BROOKLET — Each August, tBrooklet, GA greets a mass influx as families from surrounding counties flock to the Peanut Festival. Aug. 20 marked tremendous growth for the first stage of the Peanut Festival — The Brooklet Peanut Run.              Registration numbers increased from 451 in 2010 to 525 registered runners and 503 runners and walkers finished the race which began at 7 a.m.
    The overall winner, 16 year old Daniel Broadhead, has finished in first place for the past three years.              Breaking the tape with a time of 15:54.07 last Saturday, he managed to set a Georgia Road Race Record for his age group. 
    “This is a great achievement not only for the member of Wayne County High’s cross country team, but also for the Peanut Run in general,” said Toby Davis, race director.  “We’ve seen consistent growth each year both in numbers and in successes as people beat their previous times and bring along friends for fun. We attribute our status as the largest road race in Bulloch County to our consistency. After eleven years, we are now the longest-running road race in Bulloch County as well.”
    Davis believes that what sets the Peanut Run apart is the time of year it’s held.             “We’re going into fall, and cross country is just starting for the regional high schools. Most of us are hoping for cooler weather even though it’s still August, and so we’re getting back into running.”
    But the Peanut Run is not simply a 5K race to raise funds for Southeast Bulloch High School’s cross country and track teams anymore. It has evolved into a community event with many sponsors and spectators.  Statesboro’s 180 Fitness put a challenge out to its’ members to run in the event, and 96 members responded.             Lisa Muldrew, a chorus teacher at Statesboro High opened the race day by singing the national anthem a church group joined the mass of volunteers.             Statesboro Pacers, an elite running group training for the Savannah Rock’N’Roll Marathon has begun a tradition of parking at IHOP around 5:30 a.m., running to the race course, surging through the 5k, and then running back to IHOP for breakfast, and Steve Chester, director of the Turkey Trot (held in November) provided up-tempo music throughout the proceedings.
    Cash awards and trophies were bestowed upon the top three male and female finishers. First place received $50, second place $30, and third place $20.
    In the Masters category, those runners over 40 years of age, first place earns $40, second $25, and third $15. If interested in participating in the 2012 Brooklet Peanut Run, registration applications are released in March and online at