Most cities at 5 AM on a Saturday morning are relatively quiet, the roads are clear and no one is in sight. However, one city on the morning of September 8th was coming alive to support the men in blue and one of their own fallen officers. Before the rest of the world even thought about waking up, this city had already set up tents, tables, and signs to prepare for the 35th Annual Covington Fuzz Run. The town of Covington was expecting one of the largest crowds to date due to the tremendous support surrounding Officer Cooper #148 who was shot in the line of duty just days before the race. By 6 AM this small town was moving in all directions as everyone scurried around for parking spots and to pick up race packets. One of the coolest sights to see this early in the morning was the number of police cars pulling in from all over the state of Georgia. I stood there and watched as car after car pulled in to show their support. The race was starting later then most with an 8:30 start time. The race didn’t actually get started until closer to 9 due to announcements and the number of people in attendance. People started lining up well before 8:30 and by the time it actually started all you could see was people packed in waiting to hear the words go. I made it a point to start near the front so I wouldn’t be boxed in. I also kinda wanted to be on TV too. Channel 2, CBS 46, and channel 11 were all their showing the race live. Come to find out, I made it on the channel 2 Sunday morning news! I was on there looking all serious as I passed by the camera.
As I mentioned above, tons of police cars came from all over the state to help with the event. They lined the finish area with their cars and turned on their blue lights. As runners came down the hill to the finish, all you could see were blue lights. It was a really neat sight to take in. There was so much support for this event which in turn made it one of the best races I have done. Since it was the 35th anniversary of the race, they gave every finisher a medal. They also give out really awesome door prizes and if you are ever lucky enough to win one, you just might be going home with a huge flat screen TV.
Huge shoutout to the Covington Police Department for putting on a very well organized/ fun race and always taking care of the runners while we are on the road. Also a shoutout to a few of the forces I saw along the route: Augusta Police, Jefferson City, Cobb County, Clayton County, Gainesville Police, and City of Monroe. I know there were dozens of others but these are the one’s I remember seeing and thanking as I passed. Thank you to all of you for your service.
Sending well wishes to Officer Matt Cooper, God bless you and your family!