Ft. McAllister will be the site of the Badder Marsh 2017 Night Ultra Race Saturday in what is believed to be the first running event to be held at the historic location.
Sara Maltby, one of the local race organizers, said last year’s event was held at J.F. Gregory Park, but that location was unavailable this year due to a fund-raiser being put on by the Richmond Hill Fire Department on the same date.
“Ft. McAllister is such a beautiful area and a lot of people don’t even know it’s there,” Maltby said. “Many of the runners will be camping there for the weekend.”
Participants can choose between running 25k or 50k, with the race beginning at 4 p.m. The 5k loop will be on the Magnolia Trail.
“Something like this usually starts later, but we had to adjust our times because of the park’s quiet hours,” Maltby said. “We want to be respectful of the other campers.”
Rangers will fire the park’s cannon to mark the start of the race.
Maltby said proceeds from the race will be donated to two causes. The first is Savannah AMBUCS, which provides specialized tricycles to children with mobility needs. Money will also be given to Friends of Ft. McAllister.
“They’re still dealing with a lot of cleanup issues from Hurricane Matthew and here we are in another hurricane season already,” Maltby said. “They can use the help.”
Anthony Patronis, assistant manager at Fort McAllister, said staff there appreciates the help.
“We’ve got both trails back open, but there is still work to be done,” he said. “Plus, we saw this as a good way to give back to the community because AMBUCS does such great things.”
Local sponsors for the race are All Things Chocolate & More, Ogeechee Meat Market and Hill on Wheels (formerly Game Changers Bike and Multisport).
Maltby said the race has been capped at 55 participants due to parking restrictions at Ft. McAllister, but she anticipates holding the event there in future years.
“It’s been great working with them so far and everyone is really excited,” she said. “We’d love to have it there every year.”