Athens Cross Country Club runners lead start the race on Saturday morning.
Photo Credit: Sarah Hawley

Forget Me Not 5K Draws Crowd Despite Rain

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A little rain did not dampen the spirit of runners and walkers who turned out on Saturday morning to pay tribute to a local guidance counselor and educator.

An estimated 100 participants took part in the fourth annual Forget Me Not 5K on Saturday in memory of Athens City Schools guidance counselor and teacher Patsy Barrington.

In speaking prior to the run, Liz Schwarzel, who served as the race director, recalled Barrington as a vibrant, colorful person who was a friend an mentor to the Athens Cross Country Club coaches.

Many of Barrington’s family members, including her husband and daughters, participating in the event.

As the runners waited for the rain to let up, some participated in a friendly competition with a limbo contest and dance-off.

The cross country club includes each of the four Athens City Schools Elementary Schools, with a coach and students at each location practicing weekly.

As the runners waited, Rockin’ Reggie played some of Barrington’s favorite songs and other music to energize the crowd for the early morning event.

Money from the event each year benefits a local charity, with some of the proceeds also going back to the cross country club.

Over the years, money has been donated to local charities such as The Friends of the Shelter Dogs, The Athens County Food Pantry, The American Red Cross, and Athens Visiting Nurses. Passion Flowers and plaques with Barrington’s picture and information were also purchased and displayed at each elementary school. This year, the proceeds benefit The Athens Public Library.

Funds received by the cross country club have allowed the group to host multiple themed fun runs throughout the year, including, an annual Costume Run, Wild Turkey Trot, Winter Wonder Run, Hot Chocolate Run, and Sweaty Shamrock Run