Have you ever wondered how the Anniston Runners Club was formed? As it is with most organizations, a need was recognized and action was taken.
The Anniston Runners Club was formed in1980 when a group of Anniston businessmen, who ran together each Sunday afternoon for fitness, decided to form a runners club. After a Sunday run, they met at one of their homes and drew up the bylaws. One of their first member meetings was at Golden Springs Community Center with Dr. Charles Veale speaking on health and fitness. The club began to grow, and within three years, the club had 180 members that consisted of doctors, lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, Mayor Norwood Hodges, teachers, and others. The name Anniston Runners Club (ARC) was chosen.
The year after ARC was formed, one of the largest foot races anywhere in the area was held in conjunction with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival -- the Midsummer Morn 5K, which was sponsored by the Anniston Star but promoted and supported by Anniston Runners Club.
When the Shakespeare Festival moved to Montgomery in 1986, the Anniston Star and Anniston Runners Club agreed that the club should host the race. The club changed the name of the race to the Woodstock 5K because it was run on Woodstock Avenue. The Peanuts character, Woodstock - the yellow bird, was chosen as the mascot of the race.
Through the years, the club membership and participation at the Woodstock 5K has waxed and waned, but the core support from local runners has always been strong.
The club has seen a huge resurgence in recent years, growing from 49 members in January of 2006 to more than 630 in December 2011. The Woodstock 5K has paralleled the same growth spurt. Only 79 runners toed the starting line in August 2005, but more than 1260 registered for the event in 2011.
The club's future is bright as specialty divisions have been added: Youth Running Division, Ultra-Race Division, Triathlon Division, and Women's Running Division. The club hosts six events each year and oversees an active, 14-race Grand Prix Schedule. Monthly members meetings and educational workshops are offered to all members.
The club has stayed true to its Mission Statement: The Anniston Runners Club (ARC) is committed to promoting, encouraging, and fostering the love of running. We strive to promote the healthy benefits of running and mentor new runners.