by Joe Edgecombe, Co-race Director
On November 21, 2015, great things were happening in Sunny Hills, Florida! The 22rd Annual Draggin’ Tail 18 Mile Challenge, 3 person relay & 5K road race once again paid a visit to Sunny Hills. We had a dream of putting on a quality road running race and found that Sunny Hills was a great fit. We wanted an accommodating community, vast amounts of roads with scenic venues for our participants to run in. In 1993, we approached Deltona. They were more than happy to let us use their community center. It brought people from outside of the area to see what Sunny Hills had to offer.
Team RWB is a military support group out of Panama City. A large group ran the race and a good number volunteered. We appreciate the involvement of our support crew and their participation in our Sunny Hills event.
Participants came from Northwest Florida, Alabama and Georgia. We have even had runners from as far away as New Mexico join us. Many have come year after year! The runners have enjoyed Sunny Hills to the point that several have relocated to Sunny Hills. Three families bought property and moved to Boat Lake. Two other families move close to the golf course.
The race originally started at the former community center near the Gap Pond boat ramp and hosted 36 runners on its inaugural road race. After Deltona closed its community center, the race site had to find a new home. We found that Monsignor Francis and St. Theresa’s Catholic Church would become an ideal substitute. St. Theresa’s Catholic Church has an ideal location near the main highway and a large fellowship hall where we can feed all our runners, their families and other supporters. For the last 12 years, St. Theresa’s has helped us fulfill our dream of bringing new faces to Sunny Hills and showcase this great community. We can only hope that this partnership will continue and allow others to see this great sand hill’s community.