OAKWOOD — The 5K race sponsored by a Gainesville church collected more than $5,000 for Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief to aid hurricane victims.
The Hurricane Hustle 5K, born out of Flat Creek Baptist Church and its avid runner, Mike Taylor, came together just a couple of weeks after hurricanes struck both Texas and Florida. According to Taylor, runners attended from all over the state in addition to one from South Carolina and another from Alabama.
In all, 80 registered to take part with 63 finishers. Taylor Reed, the winner, finished in 19:20 while his eight-year-old brother, Cohen, completed his first 5K in 36:59. Taylor and Cohen’s grandfather also took part in the race, making three generations pounding the pavement for hurricane relief.
The race stood apart from others in that no registration fee was required, only a donation. While a typical race fee may fall around $25, Taylor pointed out, the average donation for the Hurricane Hustle came out to nearly $70 per participant.
“I am so very thankful for the generosity of those who registered,” he said. “God blessed the decision to not charge a registration fee.”
Help from fellow racers
Taylor also pointed out the boost given to the event from Georgia’s racing community. A large number of Saturday’s runners – 78 percent – came from outside the Gainesville area. Also, the lack of overhead costs was further made possible through other Georgia race groups.
“The race series’ who donated their services – AAA Health series, Black Bag, and Clover Race series – really carried this event,” he said. “I thank the Lord for those who responded to the call on two weeks’ notice to attend a hurricane relief 5K.
“That fact that people were so generous indicates to me that, even as unchurched people, many hold Georgia Baptists in high esteem as an organization that will do what it says it will do – provide emergency relief services with no overhead costs.”
Taylor added his desire for hurricane relief efforts to meet both physical and spiritual needs.
“My prayer is for the Lord to bless all the gifts given to hurricane recovery as messages of real hope and consolation. And as money is distributed, I pray it goes forth – as in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 – with the ‘fragrance of Jesus.'”
As Buckets of Care continue to be shipped to Hurricane Harvey-stricken areas in east Texas, GBDR teams focus efforts on Georgia and Florida. As of today, teams in incident management, cleanup and recovery, chaplaincy, and feeding had been dispatched to Kingsland. Further south, cleanup and recovery teams as well as chaplaincy are responding to needs in Jacksonville, FL and surrounding Clay County.