by Kathy Johnson
Grab your running shoes and start your warm-up; the 34th Annual Batesville Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 16 and with it comes the 31st Annual Batesville Day 10K Run starting in downtown Batesville at 8 a.m., followed by a parade and music, food and field activities.
“The Batesville Day race is legendary among 10K racers. It’s the oldest race in the state run on the same course and one of the hardest,” said Emily Greer. Greer, Hamp Carruth and Kate Hallahan are the event coordinators and Greer said they have been working hard to bring new and favorite activities to this year’s event.
Registration for the race is between 7 and 7:45 and the cost is $16 (before race day) and $20 the day of the event. All race participants receive a T-shirt. The race will be followed by the awards presentation at 9:30. Record holders in the event are Mike Fox in 2002 with a time of 31:45 and Anna Pichrtova, who set a women’s record time of 35:38 that same year.
In addition to the race, Batesville Day offers a day of family-oriented activities.
“We’ve got great music and fun field activities for the kids. Three bands! And everything from craft vendors to bug collecting. It’s small but lots of spirit-—emblematic of the high concentration of eccentrics in our community and I fully mean that as a compliment,” Greer said, laughing good-naturedly.
Following the awards, the parade will start at 11 a.m. “Everybody can be in the parade. Be creative. Decorate tractors, bikes—yourself,” said Greer. A true community event, the parade typically includes decorated cars, pickup trucks,bikers, walkers and those out for a good time.
Participants will enjoy food, entertainment and activities in the Batesville Day field just 1/8 of a mile east of the Batesville Store on Plank Road.
Entertainment will be provided by three bands in the field: Second Draw, Jim Waive and the Gay Divorcees, and Bluzonia. “All activities for the kids are free,” said Greer. “This is really a time to give back to the community so that folks can come and enjoy the day and not need to take out a mortgage.”
Greer said there will be a “chocolate bake-off, magic show, bug catching for 2- to 5-year-olds and for 5- to 8-year-olds, a petting zoo. Last year we even had a sheep giving birth (I can’t guarantee that this year), pony rides, and other activities.”
Carruth has been working on Batesville Day and the race since 1979 and offered some history of the event. “Batesville Day was started by the two churches (Methodist and Baptist). It was first done in the mid-1970s to raise money for a church bus. Then the Batesville Ruritan Club took the event over,” Carruth said.
“Now it’s more of a community day. We don’t raise a lot on the day itself. (It’s really a) day to celebrate being out here in Batesville,” Carruth said. All proceeds raised during the event are returned to the community. For more information about the race, contact Hamp Carruth at 434-924-0630 or 434-466-5927. Parade information is available from Emily Greer at 540-456-7321 or egreer406 [at] gmail.com.