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The Bill Gregory Healthcare Classic has quite a history. 2011's Classic (to be held Saturday, May 7) will mark 31 years since the first race in 1981 and 16 years since gaining the involvement of the Partnership for the 1996 race. Before the Partnership’s involvement, the race was coordinated strictly by the Bradley Wellness Center. With the Partnership’s help, The Bill Gregory Healthcare Classic soon became Dalton’s largest road race.
Up until 2007, the race was simply called “The Healthcare Classic,” but in 2007 the race was renamed to “The Bill Gregory Healthcare Classic” to honor the late Dr. Bill Gregory who was killed in a bicycling accident in June 2006. Dr. Gregory had a passion for wellness and healthy lifestyles. By permanently re-naming the event, the Partnership hoped the one-day event would serve as a catalyst to promote permanent healthy lifestyle changes. 2011's event will celebrate the 5th anniversary of remembering Dr. Gregory's passion for wellness by introducing the "Dr. Gregory Wellness Fair" where vendors and sponsors can have a booth on race day with products or services promoting wellness.
In 2010, the Classic enjoyed roughly 2,500 participants. The race has come a long way since the Partnership joined the efforts in 1996 with 541 participants. Then, the Classic was a 5K and a 1-mile “fun run.” It wasn’t until the 2000 "Millennium" Classic when the it became a 5K and 2K timed race. The Partnership wanted to make it a 2K-timed race to provide more opportunities for younger populations to compete and win awards. Age categories were lowered as well during this effort. 2008 marked the first year the Classic included a third race; an un-timed 2K race.
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Race Day is Saturday, May 7, 2011. The 5K starts at 8 a.m. with the 2K following. The events will start and end at the Bradley Wellness Center in Dalton, GA. Visit www.nwgahealthpartners.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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