Everyone is a Winner: "Say No To Drugs Race" Crossed the Finish Line A Success

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Tampa Bay’s 17th Annual "Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic Race" was a success with the highest ever number of registered runners this year.

The New Memorial Causeway Bridge had its first ever 5K/10K race over its span this past Saturday (Dec 17th, 2005) with the ‘Say No to Drugs Holiday Classic’. Nearly 700 runners registered to race this year bumping this race up to a new level, making it truly a holiday tradition among the 100+ races in the Tampa Bay community each year. Over 100 of the Clearwater Community Volunteers came together to make this a memorable event for the Tampa Bay Community who worked side by side with the race’s sponsors: Starbucks Coffee, Jamba Juice, Sweet Tomatoes, Einstein Bros’ Bagels, Boston Bill Sunglasses, PostcardMania and many more. Afterwards, the $1000.00 purse was distributed to the top runners including John Emerson of Brooksville, Maria Ghizzoni of St. Pete, Lee Stephens of Temple Terrace, Christa Benton of St. Pete, Keith Sawayda of Clearwater, Dana Parrot of Tampa, Ray Chumbley of Port Charlotte, Jacki Wachtel of Tarpon Springs, Dan French of Brooksville and Beth Old of St. Petersburg.

Even though this year was the race’s 17th year, this was the first year to run over the New Memorial Causeway Bridge. The awards pancake breakfast was also in a new location at the historical Fort Harrison Hotel where all the runners and their families partook in the pancake breakfast. Nature’s Food Patch was one of the many sponsors that donated fresh spelt berries for the volunteers to grind into pancake batter making the melt-in-your-mouth-watering treats the runners all raved about. “I have to say it was a first-class event;” claimed Stephanie Corbo, owner of American Running Company in Dunedin and also one of the sponsors, “I know a lot of the runners really felt comfortable being in such a beautiful place with great food provided after running the race – the whole thing had such a nice flow to it.”

“Throughout the 17 years that the ‘Say No To Drugs Race’ (http://www.saynotodrugs.com) has been around, one thing has never changed,” said Sue Minkoff, a Race Director, “and that is our message – living a drug-free life is rewarding and fulfilling. The best way to win in life is to do it without drugs.”

About Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic:

The ‘Say No To Drugs’ Holiday Classic Race was started in 1988 by world-class runner and Scientologist Sandra Johnson, who was the captain of the Dianetics Running Team at the time. She got her inspiration by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard http://www.lronhubbard.org who wrote extensively on the subject of drugs and developed an extremely effective drug rehabilitation method which is currently in use all over the world. The race advocates healthy and drug-free living and supports many organizations with proceeds from the race such as the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, Drug Free Marshals and the most effective drug rehabilitation organization in the world, Narconon.

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Karla Jo Helms-Eicher
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