CLEARWATER, FL, January 05, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- More than 2000 runners competed in Clearwater in December in the 23rd Annual "Say No to Drugs" Holiday Classic. Sponsored by the Dianetics Athletics Association of the Church of Scientology, the race raises funds for charitable organizations while delivering the message that there are healthy lifestyle alternatives to a life battered by illegal and prescription drug abuse.
"We were pleased to see so many fine athletes come out again this year to compete in the Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic and take a stand against substance abuse. These athletes are important role models for our youth, and the funds raised by the race go to several charitable organizations that help combat drug abuse and other debilitating conditions," said Chris Alexander, Race Director.
The Westcare Foundation in St. Petersburg currently has more than 250 individuals in residential treatment for substance abuse. Gregg Cosgrove, a Westcare Foundation staff member, brought 11 recovering addicts to participate in the race.
"One problem of people in recovery is they have never lived another lifestyle. Many of them don't know what to do with themselves when they get sober. Everything they did was around abusing or finding ways to use or finance their drug of choice. This race exposed them to a different lifestyle - one that they aren't even aware of," Cosgrove said.
While illegal street drugs have historically been the number one battle in the drug war, Cosgrove explained the biggest substance addiction problem now is with prescription drugs. "It's almost criminal what we allow to go on here in Florida with regard to prescription drug abuse. We distribute more prescription drugs in Florida than all the other states combined. People need to know what is going on here. Awareness of the drug problem needs to be increased, and this race helps do that."
Jonathan Mott of St. Petersburg placed first in the 10K race at 5:13, followed by Seth Rosonina of Riverview at 5:16 and Elias Gonzalez of Tampa at 5:17. Sara Petrick of Apollo Beach came in as the first woman in the 10K at 5:50, followed by Christa Stephens from St. Petersburg at 6:08 and Terri Rejimbal of Tampa at 6:18. First place winner of the 5K was Shane Deeley of Clearwater at 5:18 followed by Guillermo Del Castillo of Puebla, ME at 5:21 and Chris Hough of Tampa at 5:31.
$1000 in cash prizes were distributed to race winners, and 225 plaques and trophies were awarded to winners in age categories. Long sleeved tech shirts were provided to all runners. Runners and their guests enjoyed a complimentary pancake breakfast after the race.
All race proceeds are donated to charitable and social betterment organizations. These have included Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, West Florida Y Runner's Club, Miles for Hope Brain Tumor Research, Drug Free Marshals, Youth for a Drug-Free Florida and other local charities.
2011 Say No to Drug Race Sponsors
Narconon Florida, COSTCO, WQYK 99.5FM, Consumer Energy Solutions, HILTON Hotel, Suncoast Rehab Center, Exec Tech Management, Crystal Springs Water, American Running Company, Clearwater Community Volunteers, Fit2Run, Sweet Tomatoes, All Whites, golo.co, LifeWorks Wellness Center, Outspokin Bicycle Shop, Batting Zone Sports, Einstein Brothers Bagels, Fitniche, Boston Bill, Chainwheel Drive, HONKA Automotive, BECK Graphics, Alacer / Emergen-C, Dr. David Singer, Jeff & Natalie Simms, Steve & Jennifer Anderson, Lothar Erdtmann, Northwood Dental, Todd & Rosy Kugler, Expand Enterprises, Liz Dawson, Dr. Jonathan Bromboz, Around the Clock Fitness, Ellie Bolger, One Stoppe Shoppe, Instant Calmag-C, Feet First, Dr. Jeanne Decuypere, Visual Edge Design, Countryside Chiropractic, Natures Food Patch, Family Life Chiropractic
About the Dianetics Athletics Association
The Dianetics Athletics Association is an affiliation of individuals who pursue sporting activities as an enjoyable element of a healthy lifestyle, free from substance abuse. Sponsored by parishioners of the Church of Scientology, for the past 23 years the Dianetics Athletics Association has supported and initiated sporting events and teams in a variety of sports including running, softball, basketball, swimming and sailing. L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology Founder, taught that drug abuse is harmful to the mind and spirit and developed a methodology to remove their harmful effects. For more information about the Dianetics Athletics Association or Say No To Drugs Race, call (727) 434-3409 or visit http://www.saynotodrugs.com.
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