Hahira's Brandi Faircloth was the defending champion in the women's division, having won in 2008 (21:46) as well as 2010 (20:54). Just three weeks before the Azalea Festival, Faircloth had won the Hospice Half Marathon in Dasher, Georgia. However, Valdosta master runner Alice Smoot was also at the Azalea Festival, and Smoot had been tearing up the local road with wins at Valdosta's Music In Motion 5K (March 5), Hahira's Art Of Surviving 5K (February 26), and Tifton's ABAC Fitness 5K (January 22). And when the Azalea Festival's first woman finished in front of the VSU Recreation Center it was Smoot (4th, 20:39), with Faircloth (5th, 20:43) just a few steps behind. Valdosta's Jared Komatz (10th, 22:29) finished third among the women.
The Azalea Festival 5K is part of the Valdosta-Lowndes Azalea Festival, which has been held annually since 2001. A one-mile fun run preceded the race; both running events were hosted by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority.
Valdosta-Lowndes Azalea Festival 5K
- Tom Durham's photos of the 2011 Azalea Festival 5K
- Valdosta's Azalea Festival
- Find other floral-themed races in the region on the Trouble Afoot! calendar