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From the couch to the ... quarry
Community comes together for dash
The Boulder Dash 5K on May 1 will lead walkers and runners through the Lafarge Quarry in Cumming. - photo by Submitted

The Boulder Dash 5K begins at 9 a.m. May 1. Registration, which ends April 28, is $25. The race begins at Northside Hospital-Forsyth on 1200 Northside Forsyth Drive in Cumming. For more information, or to register, call (770) 887-6461 or visit
A few months ago, Rebekah Teal never imagined she would be running in a 5K race.

“It’s really not my bag to run around in circles around a football field,” she joked. “I’ve never run before in my life, and I thought it was just now or never.”

Teal has been training through the Forsyth County Park and Recreation Department’s From the Couch to a 5K fitness program.

The class culminates May 1 with the Boulder Dash 5K, which will lead walkers and runners through the Lafarge Quarry in Cumming.

“That’s pretty exciting to have the opportunity to do that here,” she said of running through the rock quarry.

The Boulder Dash is organized by the Healthcare Association of Forsyth County, a Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce initiative.

So far, about 700 people have registered. James McCoy, chamber president and chief executive officer, expects as many as 1,000 to participate.

The event welcomes several “couch to 5K” classes, including one run by Focal Fitness, as well as business leaders, employees, families and residents.  

“The more opportunities we have in the community to bring people together ... I think helps us promote a better quality of life, and certainly for the purpose of promoting better community health,” McCoy said.

“We particularly hope that businesses in the community will put together teams and this will be a great team-building, get-fit program for them.”

The event will benefit the parks and recreation department’s Envision a Fit Forsyth program.

The association launched the initiative more than a year ago to fuel health education in the community, McCoy said.

Inspiring a healthy lifestyle is not new to the health department, which offers fitness classes from cardio basics to a challenging boot camp.

Laura Pate, the department’s programs supervisor, said the From the Couch to a 5K class is in its third season.

It started with one class of 30 people and now has two classes of more than 50.

“We created the program to help people feel like they can do this,” she said. “To achieve a goal, but also to get more fit, be more healthy and socialize and meet more friends they can run with.

“We just hope to help people be more fit and healthy, and to enjoy the new parks, and to perhaps have a new hobby.”

The race begins at Northside Hospital-Forsyth. A spring fling featuring music, food and family activities will follow in the quarry.

Businesses and health care professionals will man tents and booths to discuss healthy living.

“I think it’s going to be incredibly interesting and it’s going to be fun to do this in a rock quarry,” she said. “It’s not every day you can tell someone you spent your Saturday morning running in a quarry.”