The first annual Downtown Crozet 5K Community Fun Run took place under sunny skies the morning of Saturday, November 17. Although race planners were expecting about 30 participants, 119 runners, walkers, bikers—with their dogs, strollers, and baby carriers— actually showed up.
On a perfect, brisk day, they wound for approximately three miles through “old Crozet”—along St. George Ave. to Buck Mountain Rd., through Orchard Acres, and back along Jarmans Gap Rd.—on a route that began and ended at the old Barnes Lumber property, proposed future home of the Crozet Plaza.
Three Albemarle County Sheriff’s vehicles accompanied the group and briefly blocked traffic as necessary to allow the runners to pass safely through downtown. “The primary purpose of this event is community building,” said event coordinator Mary Margaret Holden.
“We have planned a series of family-friendly events to foster community over the coming months, including Downtown Crozet for the Holidays with the Christmas tree lighting in the Square, and another in January involving local restaurants.”
Samuel Yakulis of Stafford, whose family was in town for a U.Va. game, was the first place finisher at 18 minutes 17 seconds. “The only prize is completion,” explained Holden, “and to strive for a personal best”—although every finisher received a “winner” necklace, distributed by volunteer Thea Spitzner, and was greeted with a breakfast biscuit from Whistle Stop Grill. Besides bringing the community together in a “friendraiser,” the Fun Run also acted as a fundraiser to help kick start the efforts of the non-profit Downtown Crozet Initiative (DCI).
The DCI plans to work with the county to build the plaza, for which they will need to raise funds, and to achieve their mission of fostering a high quality of life and supporting the economic vitality of downtown Crozet. Participants and their families had a chance to talk with Plaza developer Frank Stoner—who ran the race along with his three adult children—and vote on some sample building elevations (or storefronts) for their preferred “look” of future Plaza businesses that best fit Crozet architecture. These will be posted soon at www.downtowncrozetinitiative.org for public comment. DCI meetings are open to the public. They are usually held the first Thursday of the month at noon at Crozet Pizza, but it is best to check the website for updates.
The race t-shirt listed sponsors Allied Portable Toilets, the Bates Family, Crozet Bicycling, Crozet Board of Trade, Crozet Creamery, The Crozet Gazette, Crozet Insurance, Crozet Pizza, Crozet Running, Green House Coffee, Hive Creative Group, the Holden Family, Milestone Partners, Parkway Pharmacy, Perrone Robotics, the Reid Family, and Whistle Stop Grill.
If you have questions or would like to donate, email [email protected].