THOMASVILLE — The 29th annual Rose City Run is today with runners from Georgia, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin, representing 38 towns and cities.

The race will begin at 8 a.m. at the Post Office on Broad Street. At 7:45 a.m., Dr. Jim Story, co-race director, will give runners instructions.

Jessie Close won the 10K run last year with a blistering time of 33:44. The Tallahassee, Fla., resident is excited about coming back to Thomasville and defending his crown.

“It definitely has been one of my favorite events to participate in over the years,” said Close. Close, 47, has won the event eight times.

One of the runners competing today is Chuck Speight, a race veteran who has participated in all the Rose City Runs.

“It’s been one of the more consistent races I’ve ever been to,” said Speight, a resident of Doraville. “It’s been a high-quality race from the beginning.

“It’s a moderate course. It has a few hills, not terrible hills.”

One hill that the course does have is especially tough on runners. Affectionately known as “Heartbreak Hill,” as the course winds down on Clay Street it tests the runners’ endurance and tenacity.

“That is a tough hill, especially coming in that point in the race,” Speight added.

At age 60, Speight said that this year’s Rose City Run will not be his last.

“As long as I can really do it and enjoy it,” said Speight. “It’s one of the best organized races that I’ve been to.”

The 27th annual Rose City One Mile Run will follow at 9:30 a.m.

More than 250 runners, ages 12 and under will participate.

There is no race day registration for the one mile run, but registration for the 10K run will take place from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m.

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