Monday, January 30, 2012

Running through Auburn & Opelika

 23rd Annual Love Your Heart Run/Crank Your Heart Ride
When: February 18 at 7:30am
Where: Chewacla State Park
Contact: Alison Hall 334.501.2940

What: Love Your Heart Run is sponsored by the Exceptional Outreach Organization and the City of Auburn. The Love Your Heart Run is our premier fundraising event benefiting children and adults with special needs that participate in Special Olympics of Lee County, Best Buddies of Auburn University, Premier Academy Shining Knights Therapeutic Cheerleading Team, Friends for Life and City of Auburn Parks and Recreation Therapeutic Summer Camp. Participants may run or walk the event!
Crank Your Heart Ride is being held in conjunction with the 23rd Annual Love Your Heart Ride. The Crank Your Heart Ride was introduced in 2008 in an effort to broaden the Exceptional Outreach Organization’s annual fundraiser event and further raise awareness of the many therapeutic programs we support throughout the community.

Couch to 5K Run
When: February 25at  8am
Where: Downtown Opelika
Contact: Tracey Buckingham at 334.332.6536

What: On Saturday morning, February 25th, the Celebrate Life 5k Run will be held in downtown Opelika, followed by a celebration concert in front of the Lee County Courthouse. Route 66 will provide the entertainment as participants celebrate the culmination of their 12-week health and fitness program sponsored by AORTA. The Celebrate Life Couch to 5K program is open to any business, department, or group of individuals who would like to train for a 5K event together. Participants can run or walk the event. Regardless of current fitness level, we will provide training programs for all individuals to be able to complete the 3.1-mile event in February. We are asking and encouraging businesses to form teams to enter the Celebrate Life 5K together. Schedules and training information will be provided for participants and group run/walk times will be announced. On the day of the run/walk, teams will not only compete for the fastest times, but for a variety of other categories, such as Best Team Name, Biggest Team, Smallest Team, Most Pounds Lost Team, Slowest Team, Best Team Spirit, and others.

Mud Mania
When: March 31 from 9am to 3:30pm
Where: Southern Springs Equine Farm in Auburn
Contact: Gabe Gotthelf at 404.964.4613

What: Mud Mania is a mud drenched outdoor obstacle adventure race fueled by excessive and unreasonable enthusiasm. Whether competing alone or on a team, ultimately it is a challenge that will pit your raw grit against the notoriously rugged Alabama mud.
Set in the backwoods of rural Auburn on Southern Springs Equine, Mud Mania is a bootcamp style 5K run embedded with 20+ obstacles. Participants will run in 30 minute heats of 300 participants each. Your momma spent 18hrs a day trying to keep you clean. Give us 3 miles...we'll getcha' dirty!

2012 Amphibious Warrior Mud Run
When: April 7 at 8am
Where: The Great American Park , 3935 US Highway 29 North in Auburn
Contact: James Summerlin 256.541.2863

The Mud Run is a CHALLENGING course full of MUD and just clean fun brought to you by the The Few and Proud Marines of Auburn University. The route will consist of about 4 miles of off-road trails, creeks, hills, obstacles and of course MUD PITS! This event is open to women and men of ages 13 and up. There will be individual and team registration available for those like us that don’t like leaving a buddy behind when the “going gets tough”. So grab an old pair of shoes and some worn out clothes and get ready to get MUDDY! Included this year is a chance to camp on site to experience the full feeling of the event.
Also new this year is the ability to go off roading in your ATV or truck out there on the mud pits of the American Off Road Park's area followed by a concert. Disclaimer: this course requires running, jumping, climbing, slogging, sloshing, crawling and raw determination!

Junior League of Lee County Walk Run
When: April 14 at 8am
Where: Town Creek Park in Auburn

What: The Junior League of Lee County Walk Run in an annual event held each April.  The race is family and pet friendly.  Participants can choose from a 1.5 mile or 5K walk or timed 5K run and offers goody bags, prizes, refreshments and children's activities.  In 2010-2011, the race raised $13,151 for arts and literacy programs for the children of Lee County.  Choose to walk (1 mile or 5k) or run (5k).
Includes a free T-shirt and goodie bag.  No refunds.  Registrations received after April 1st are not guaranteed a T-shirt. All registrations: $15 until April 1st, $20 after April 1st. Children 10 and under: Free Registration, T-shirt not included. 5K Run Prizes will be awarded to the top overall male and female finishers and to the top male and female finishers in age groups: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60

Monday, January 23, 2012

Aubie Wins 7th National Championship

Once again, Aubie’s come out head and tail above the competition.

Aubie competed in the 2012 Universal Cheerleaders Association National Mascot Competition Jan. 13 in Orlando.

“Aubie has won UCA nationals six times before, which is more than any other mascot, but it’s been six years since he won so we wanted to win more than anything,” said Caroline McGill, assistant director of Aubie. “The last four years he’s gotten second place. This year we were ready to get it.”

Aubie and his friends spent an entire month building, painting and practicing in hopes of bringing home a seventh national championship.

“Right after finals Aubie cracked down and started working on it,” said Anna Grayce West, director of Aubie. “He worked on it a couple weeks before Christmas, and then Aubie had a three-day Christmas before we came back and went to the bowl game. After that we did a couple more weeks. It was probably about four or five weeks of very consistent 12-hour days of working on the skit.”

View his 2011 National Championship Performance Here!

Aubie adviser Mike Reynolds has been with Aubie the past eight competitions. He said most people don’t understand the amount of work that goes into preparing for these events.

“It’s such a serious, important aspect because this is a national championship to Aubie,” Reynolds said. “It’s no different than the football or the equestrian or the basketball (championships).”

Scores were based on a two-minute compilation video of Aubie’s highlights throughout the year and a one-and-a-half-minute skit performed live at the competition.

“This year he decided to go with a theme of Aubie’s Saturday,” West said. “He went through a bunch of different iconic things that are known to be happening on Saturdays. For instance, it started with Saturday morning cartoons that had a couple good jokes like Bert and Ernie turning into Bernie, and he did the dance to the Bernie song.”

McGill said the entire Aubie team was in the front row when the first-place win was announced.

“It was the same feeling for me as down in Arizona last year when our football team won the national championship,” Reynolds said.

With the most UCA national championship titles at seven, Reynolds said Aubie’s success attracts imitators.

“It’s a lot harder for Aubie to win the national championship because he sort of sets the bar,” Reynolds said. “I’ve been around it enough to know he’s a premiere mascot that other programs try to duplicate.”

The UCA win comes after a loss in the Capital One Mascot Challenge to Wolfie Jr. of the University of Nevada, Reno. Reynolds said Aubie’s Capital One loss doesn’t accurately represent his ability as a mascot or the intense love Auburn fans have for him.

“Aubie is a competitive mascot,” Reynolds said. “He wants to win everything, so anytime there’s a competition for a mascot we’ll be in there. With the support we get from our students and our administration, Aubie should win everything.”

McGill said Aubie stands out because he doesn’t just love Auburn athletics, he loves the Auburn students and community.

“Aubie is run through the Student Government Association, unlike so many other schools where their mascot programs are run through athletics,” McGill said. “Although Aubie works very closely with athletics, he’s for the students and the Auburn family.”

Reynolds said Aubie is more an ambassador of the Auburn spirit than a mascot.

“It wasn’t just that someone picked up the phone and said, ‘I want a tiger mascot. Shoot us a costume,’” Reynolds said. “He came from the pages of Phil Neel’s drawing for the basketball game program. That’s one thing that makes it so different. So much effort goes into everything Aubie does.”

West said she hopes students will celebrate Aubie’s victory and take the time to watch him perform his skit at upcoming events.

“We just want a lot of people to enjoy and relish this experience with us,” West said. “It’s not just for Aubie, it’s for all of Auburn.”

Article courtesy of the Auburn Plainsman.