Late last week and over the weekend, flags went up along College Street as Cedartown gets ready to host athletes from across the globe for a big summer event coming up after the July 4th holiday early next month.

Committee Member and City Commissioner Matt Foster was out with helpers in tow to put the banners of many nations on light poles along North College Street for the 2023 edition of the Cedartown Wheelchair 5K, world famous as the fastest and most challenging courses for Paralympians to participate in annually.

This year marks the 20th running of the Cedartown Wheelchair 5K, and the biggest change of all this year is the race is now part of a trio of races held across the country for the Rolling Thunder Triple Crown series. Cedartown’s 5K joins the 10K Peachtree Road Race held July 4.

The third race is a 15K at the Boilermaker in Utica, New York on July 9.

The first camp was held in 2000, but some breaks have been taken during years of the Summer Paralympics and during the COVID pandemic in the event first organized by Paralympic medalist & ESPY winner Krige Schabort, local pastor Dave Grove, and many other community leaders. They’ve continued to lend their leadership and support to the race throughout the two decades since athletes first came to Cedartown for the camp capped off by the 5K.

Also as in years past, local families will be hosting athletes from around the world for the training camp held prior to the race on July 6 at 6 p.m.

Afterward, this year the racers will be honoring those who have taken part in the event for the past 20 races with a new Hall of Fame.

The race course will see athletes traverse the twists and turns of the North College Street neighborhood for the 5K, taking a fast start down North College at Victoria before they make a turn at Lakeside Drive, continue briefly on John Phillips Road, turn back onto Lakeview Drive, cruise onward on West John Hand Road before ultimately ending up again for a sprint to the finish on College Circle to North College Street and the finish line in front of Peek Park.

Local residents are encouraged to come out and support the athletes during the race, bring bells to ring their success and enjoy meeting the athletes prior and following the race.

Check back for additional coverage on the Wheelchair 5K ahead of this year’s event.

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