Four Reagans to run in popular road race

File photo — More than a thousand runners sprinted at the start of the 5K Run the Reagan race on the Ronald Reagan Parkway in Snellville last year.

File photo — More than a thousand runners sprinted at the start of the 5K Run the Reagan race on the Ronald Reagan Parkway in Snellville last year.


What: Run the Reagan

When: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday

Where: Race starts at the corner of Ronald Reagan Parkway and Presidential Circle, Snellville

Cost: $50 for half marathon on Friday, $55 on Saturday; $35 for timed 5K and 10K on Friday, $40 on race day; $30 for untimed 5K and 10K, $35 on race day; $20 for one mile fun run on Friday, $25 on race day.

Registration: Noon until 8 p.m. on Friday at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Snellville. 8 a.m. on Saturday until the start of each event.

For more information: Visit www.runthereagan.net


Reagan Ramsey


Reagan Havens

SNELLVILLE -- In the weeks that followed the 1976 GOP presidential primary, Reagan Ramsey's father was so taken by the losing candidate that he named his daughter after the California governor.

Born a year later, Ramsey said her father was not a political junkie, but followed the campaign.

"He really respected him and liked him," she said of being named after President Ronald Reagan. "I just think he always liked him as a person."

Ramsey is one of four participants in Saturday's 19th installment of the Run the Reagan road race, run along Ronald Reagan Parkway, to be named Reagan. Another person with the same name, Reagan Havens, received his name as a family moniker that came from his paternal grandmother's side of the family.

This is the second year Ramsey, who will celebrate her birthday on Saturday, will run the race after last year's main reason was to have a T-shirt with her name on it.

"I thought it would be cool," said Ramsey, a Buckhead resident, who this year learned that the race doesn't offer discounts for people with the Reagan name.

For about eight years, Ramsey said people called her "Ronald" and she avoided the name for a long time, on things like school homework assignments. And she didn't know anyone else by the same name until she was 18- or 19-years-old. But Ramsey's collected all of the Reagan '76 campaign buttons.

Reagan Havens said he extended the name to a third generation when he gave his son Reagan as a middle name.

Havens said the name has become more common in recent years.

"Growing up I was the only one that I knew, certainly the only male," said Havens, a Lawrenceville resident. "These days, it's more common for females and younger males."

Watching his kids play soccer, Havens said hearing the name across fields filled with soccer games is very common, but he's the only male he knows with the name.

"It's unique and over the years that's been more of a positive than a negative, people tend to remember my name, which is a good thing," Havens said. "I've gotten more compliments on the name over the years than criticism."

While his family has conducted genealogical research, there's no known connection between the Havens family and the former president. But that didn't stop many people from assuming that's the case, Havens said.

Havens also ran the Reagan for the first time last year, and said the race's timing on the calendar makes it unique. Last year, he ran the race with his son as the registration fee was a Christmas gift; this time Havens' daughter will run with him. Since it comes on President's Day weekend, Havens said it helps him stay in shape during the winter months.

"That is either a motivating factor for a lot of people or a deterrent," he said. "A lot of folks who take it casually may not want to come out for fear of bad weather."

Weather is forecasted to be in the high 20s and low 30s when the event begins with a half-marathon at 9 a.m. Race organizers are expecting nearly 4,000 runners for the event.

Race proceeds benefit YoungLife and the Gwinnett Community Clinic, and race organizer Parks Mann said the clinic sees about 3,000 patients because of the funds the race raises. The clinic also hired a nurse practitioner for each night the clinic is open, which adds stability and reliability for doctors and patients.

"We're excited because through practice we know what we're doing," Mann said. "We know what needs to be done, it's all falling into place, if the weather would cooperate. I'm hoping it would warm up. That could influence a couple hundred runners."