Each year the Collins Hill cross country and track and field programs receive a small budget from the school for their teams. But for a program with more than 200 athletes, that’s barely enough to pay the entry fee to meets. Much less all the other things like equipment, travel expenses and the year-end banquet.
That’s where the Dennis McCormick Road Race comes into play. The race, now in its 17th year, is the only fundraiser for the Eagles cross country and track teams, making it vital for the program each school year.
“I feel like we are on the way to a pretty good year,” Collins Hill coach Andrew Hudson said.
The race has grown from 100 runners the first year to more than 600 runners some years. The event had 400 runners last year and Hudson is expecting about the same on Saturday when the race begins at 7:30 a.m. at the school.
“There are so many road races now,” Hudson said. “We have a pretty loyal base with the Collins Hill students and faculty.”
The race is named after Dennis McCormick, who was an Army veteran with a passion for helping youth athletics. He spent countless hours volunteering in Norcross when he moved his family from Washington, D.C., in 1981. The McCormicks moved to Lawrenceville in the ’90s and Dennis was instrumental with starting sports programs in the Collins Hill district when the school opened in 1994. He got sick from cancer in 1996 and passed away on St. Patrick’s Day in 1997.
“Every year things are a little bit different. I think it’s always great for the community,” Hudson said. “It might be the longest standing community event in Collins Hill.”
The race will begin in front of Collins Hill on Taylor Road and weaves through the Richland neighborhoods. It finishes in the football stadium on the track.
Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers and the top three in each age division.
What: 17th annual Dennis McCormick Road Race
When: Saturday, 7:30 a.m.
Where: Collins Hill High School
Noteworthy: The Dennis McCormick Road Race is the primary fundraiser for the Collins Hill cross country and track and field programs.