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Five Star Striders Offers Perks to Avid Runners

By S. Mathur

Five Star manages all kinds of running and triathlon events. Their services include everything from designing a logo to sourcing trophies, and everything in between.

"We manage running and triathlon events. Everything from a one mile run to full marathons & long course triathlons. Our goal is to provide a cost effective product for the organizer that will be fun and inspirational for the participants", says President Lowell Starr. For runners who race frequently, Five Star Striders offers a membership program with special entry fees.

One of the most important services Five Star provides at sporting events is finish line and timing. Most events have switched to using the chip method to time runners and to determine the winners. Runners wear reusable chips on their ankles and turn them in at the end of the race. This method is both accurate and cost effective. The older methods of visually determining winner or using the bib pull are still used at smaller events or as backup.

Five Star also offers complete race management services. A project manager handles everything from pre-race logo design and print materials; the data management department deals with race entries; the marketing and publicity efforts are coordinated by the marketing department and there's even a customer service department that handles questions and emails.

Some of the most popular events and runs in the area over the summer are the triathlons, says Starr. There are triathlons for kids too. Upcoming events include the Labor Day 5K/10K/15K, with free admission for all first responders. This run benefits the Gold Shield Foundation which provides aid "for law enforcement officers, firefighters, their spouses and children, whose lives have been altered as a result of line of duty deaths and injuries." The Five Star Turkey Trot in November has become a local institution and now has two locations.

The new Fast and Furriest 5K & 1 Mile Doggie Dash is shaping up to be the most fun Five Star race. The first run is scheduled for November/ December and offers overall, age group and species-specific awards. Award categories for those of the canine persuasion include: the Top Dog Award for the first to cross the finish line, the Hot Dog Award for the best dog costume, and the Dawg Dog Award for the coolest dog. The Fast and Furriest will raise funds for the Furkids Animal Shelter. The 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization runs the largest cage-free, no-kill shelter in the Southeast for rescued cats, and has a no-kill division for dogs too.

Volunteers play an important part in the organizing and managing of every race, Starr explains: "We're always looking for people to volunteer; which is actually pretty easy and a lot of fun. Volunteers cheer participants on, while making sure they go the correct direction, and are staying safe. They also help check people in on arrival, and man the water stations." Volunteers also earn a free race credit for a future Five Star race each time they volunteer.

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