Hundreds of west Georgians and runners from across the country are expected to converge in Carrollton on Saturday, March 12, for the West Georgia Track Club Inaugural Road Race.
They will be led by a talented group of athletes, including Carrollton native Chris Nasser and competitive local runners who are members of the track club. Tanner Health System’s Get Healthy, Live Well is sponsoring the road race, which will begin at 8 a.m. and will showcase the Carrollton GreenBelt. About 200 competitive runners are expected to participate in the race.
“Exercising for just 30 minutes, five days a week is all it takes to keep most people fit,” said Patricia Mitchell, wellness and prevention coordinator at Get Healthy, Live Well. “By partnering with the West Georgia Track Club, we are able to continue our work to get people in the community more active.”
That work includes Get Healthy, Live Well’s Move It Mondays program, which helps turn walkers into runners in just eight weeks. The program includes weekly group sessions featuring a combination of walking and running. The winter program is underway, but more sessions will be held in the summer.
There will be several Move It Mondays participants at the March 12 road race, which includes a 5K and 10K course. Both courses are USATF-certified, which means they are Peachtree Road Race qualifiers.
West Georgia Track Club Outreach Director Anthony Nasser, who is also Chris Nasser’s twin brother, invites everyone to sign up for the race.
“It’s a great event to come to,” he said. “If you don’t want to sign up for the race, sign up for the track club because the benefits are yearlong. We have a great community of people getting out there and being active together.”
Anthony Nasser noted that this race offers one of only a few 10Ks in the area.
“It’s really a great way to kick start the year by not only making an impact on the community around you, but making an impact on your own personal health,” he said.
The Nasser brothers attended Central High School in Carrollton, where they developed a passion for running as members of the cross country team. One of the places they started running was the mile-and-a-half walking trail on the campus of Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton.
“Carrollton has kind of been a big start to our running career and now [Chris Nasser] has gone on to do some great things,” Anthony Nasser said. “Running, coaching and mentoring is a huge part of his life.”
Chris Nasser, 28, lives in Atlanta. He participated in his first sprint triathlon in the summer of 2006 on a bike he borrowed. He later went back to win first-place overall on the same course in 2013. With the mindset of “Go big or go home,” he signed up for his first Half-Ironman in New Orleans in April 2013.
He also signed up for his first Ironman in Louisville in August 2013. After training and making a name for himself in the Atlanta endurance athlete community, he was asked to become part of the 2014 race team for the Atlanta Triathlon Club. The following year he was asked to join the all3sports Race Team.
Also in 2015, he qualified for a spot at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, where he ranked 35th in the world in his age category.
With a passion for endurance sports, he began coaching with ITL Coaching and Performance in early 2014. He spends his mornings working out at a local gym and can be found running loops at Chastain Park or near the Chattahoochee River in the afternoons. He also enjoys leading group bike rides at the Budweiser plant in Cartersville.
Chris Nasser signed up for the March 12 road race to support the track club’s mission “to build community and promote, encourage and foster a healthy lifestyle for runners and walkers alike.” He has invited a few of his friends from the Atlanta running community to the race, and he’s excited to show them his old “stomping grounds.” He’s also excited to see his hometown taking steps to become a healthier community.
“From the development of the GreenBelt, to the expansion of the West Georgia Track Club and to the massive involvement in running programs such as Move It Mondays, I am proud of what our hometown has done to connect the community around fitness and wellness,” he said.
While Chris Nasser went on to become a world-class athlete, he admitted that his brother was faster than him back in high school.
“He was a much fast runner than me back then and would beat me in the track and cross country meets,” he said.
This year actually marks the brothers’ 10-year reunion of graduating from high school. But Chris Nasser will be missing at this year’s reunion and — for those who know him — there should be no question as to where he will be that day: He will be out of town competing in a race.
To register for the WGTC Inaugural Road Race online, visit https://runsignup.com and type “West Georgia Track Club” in the search engine. Online registration is available through 5 p.m. on March 11. Same day registration is available onsite.
Those participating in the race are encouraged to upload pre or post-race photos on social media with the hashtags #WGTCRoadRace and #GHLW.
For more information about Move It Mondays and other Get Healthy, Live Well programs, visit www.GetHealthyLiveWell.org or call 770.812.9871. – Press Release