This year marks several milestones for the Historic Savannah Foundation. Not only is it the 50th anniversary of the National Preservation Act and National Park Services, but consequently, it is also the 50th anniversary of the designation of Savannah’s Historic Landmark District.
There is a national campaign to celebrate these events called “50 for 50” and it lines up nicely with another milestone: Seacrest Partners and the Historic Savannah Foundation’s 10th annual Race for Preservation.
The 5K walk/run and 10K race begin at 8 a.m. Feb. 27 in Forsyth Park.
“It’s a really beautiful route,” says Frances Colón, special events coordinator for the Historic Savannah Foundation. “We’re trying to get the neighborhoods involved to foster that sense of community pride because this is kind of a locals’ race and it’s nice to have the community come and participate in it.”
The race route runs through five historic districts and two historic parks. “Each district has its own issues of blight and preservation,” Colón says, “So the race is really meant to highlight the progress that has been made in Savannah and also what still needs to be done.”
The race has grown dramatically in popularity over the last several years.
“For the last three years we’ve had 700-800 runners on average,” Colón says. “We’ve grown exponentially. We’ve gone from 500 runners to 800. It’s really fantastic!”
Fleet Feet Sports is helping organize the event and will provide music and festivities on race day. There are registration discounts for military, students and first responders. This is also the third year the Race for Preservation is part of Fleet Feet’s Fabulous 14 series, in which runners can earn points for a larger program.
Speaking from experience, beer is the best thing to drink after a hard race, and Moon River Brewing Co. will be offering beverages afterward to go along with a spread of non-alcoholic drinks and fruit.
Although fundraising is an important aspect of the Race for Preservation, bolstering community awareness is just as important.
“Our mission is to preserve and protect Savannah’s heritage through advocacy, education and community involvement,” Colón says. “Partnered with Seacrest, that’s exactly what this race does. It shows people the condition of our city. Some parts are really fantastic and other parts aren’t that great, and we want to make sure that everyone is aware of the issues in our city.”