By Berit Bjorklund Turner
After the sun-baked fun during the festivals and frolic of summer, many welcome the temperate weather, change of colors, and subdued spooky pleasures of fall. Like fog over the autumn foliage, runners will return to blanket the meadows of Grant Park on Saturday, October 26 to enjoy the pleasures of an autumn morning run.
The Monster Dash, in its fifth year, has quickly become one of the area’s most fun and healthy family events. With an event for every age group, participants are encouraged to bring the whole family; and yes, costumes are definitely appropriate. This year’s activities include a family 5K, a 1-mile fun run for runners of all ages, and a Little Goblins Run for children five years old and younger. The start and finish lines for both the 5K course and the 1-mile event are positioned near the Grant Park parking lot at Boulevard and Confederate Avenue.
Same-day registration begins bright and early at 7:30am. Pre-register online at www.GPCP.org/MonsterDash by Wednesday, October 23. This year’s 5K run/walk and 1 miler have an 8:30am start time followed by the Little Goblins Run beginning at approximately 9:30am. Pre-registered fees are $25 for the 5K, and $20 for the 1 Mile, whereas event day registration will be $30 (5K) and $25 (1M). Running groups of 10 or more can contact Virginia Tester at MonsterDash2013@gmail.com for information on group registration and discounts. This year, a special $5 discount is being offered to college students; please see the website at www.GPCP.org/MonsterDash for details. As usual, the Little Goblins Run is free.
Each year participants are eager to obtain the newly designed, official, long-sleeved, Monster Dash T-shirt. This year’s shirt, designed by Ormewood Park resident and Grant Park Cooperative Preschool (GPCP) dad Franklin Bachrach, will prove to be a special treat. Families are encouraged to join in the fun together, so a parent and a child under 10 can register under one fee, but they will receive only one T-shirt and one gift bag. Additional T-shirts can be ordered online at www.GPCP.org/MonsterDash for just $15 and must be picked up on race day at the registration table. T-shirts are guaranteed to runners who register on or before October 20.
“The Monster Dash is such a fun family event,” said Gabriela Garcia, director of the nonprofit Grant Park Cooperative Preschool. “I always enjoy seeing GPCP families come together with other neighbors and the community to experience a healthy activity while having a good time together early on a Saturday morning. I especially love those participants who come decked out in their Halloween costumes! If you have not participated in this event before, here is another opportunity for you to do so. I look forward to seeing you there!”
Awards will be given for the first and second place male and female in six different age groups. In addition, there will be awards for first and second place male and female overall finisher. Even if you’re not the fastest runner in your age group, you’ll have the opportunity to win the first and second place awards for best male and female stroller and best male and female costume. All Little Goblins will receive a special medal.
In addition to the original long-sleeved T-shirt, participants will receive a runner’s gift bag worth over $50. The bag includes all kinds of treats from race sponsors such as a ticket for one free admission to Zoo Atlanta and gift certificates to area restaurants including Agave, Octane Coffee, and Sweet Auburn BBQ. The bag will also be stuffed with coupons to other local companies, including altruistic Cradle and Thread, the baby clothing company, and Intown Healthy Hound.
“My firm and I are proud to support the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool and its Monster Dash,” said Grant Park resident Eric Teusink, Managing Partner of Williams Teusink, LLC, a real estate and corporate law firm located in Decatur. “Events like this and organizations like GPCP are part of what makes it so wonderful to live in Grant Park, Ormewood Park, Cabbagetown, East Atlanta, or any of the great neighborhoods of Southeast Atlanta.”
Special thanks to all of The Monster Dash sponsors: Williams Teusink, LLC – Attorneys at Law, Zoo Atlanta, Cradle and Thread, Six Feet Under, Adams Realtors, Holcomb Insurance Services, Atlanta City Council Member Carla Smith, Intown Pediatrics, Red Robin Group, Agave, Octane Coffee, Sweet Auburn BBQ, Intown Healthy Hound, Pratt Plus, Big Peach Running Company, and Pure Tennis.
All proceeds from The Monster Dash Family 5K & Little Goblins Run benefit the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool located at 501 Grant Street. GPCP is a nonprofit 501(c)3 with campuses in Grant Park and Cabbagetown.
Please send questions to MonsterDash2013@gmail.com, or call Eric Teusink at 770-868-9154.