For those looking for a warmup for the annual United Way Bridge Run and Crescent City Classic, or simply for a lively, social workout in a scenic area, Grand Ridge has you covered.
The Luling country club’s Gators Swim Team has opened registration for its first annual Fun Run on March 28, a two mile run through the Willowdale/Willowridge neighborhood. The proceeds from the event will benefit the club’s swim team, which is entering its third year since being established.
The event happens a week before the United Way Bridge Run, scheduled for April 4, with the Crescent City Classic held a week after that.
The event is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. that morning and will take participants from the entrance of the Grand Ridge pool on Willowdale Boulevard, to a turn at Augusta Drive and then down Willowridge Drive and into the Willowridge Estates Subdivision. The full route will form a two mile circle back to Willowdale Boulevard, by the club’s cottage and back to the pool.
“I think it’s a great chance to get out and enjoy a run in a beautiful area,” said event organizer Liz Hollingsworth. “I grew up around here and absolutely love the neighborhood. The golf club had put up funds to help us get the swim team started. With the money from this event, we’re hoping to be able to host our own swim meets this summer. It’ll give people a chance to see the pool and the facility we have.”
The Grand Ridge club site was formerly Willowdale Country Club, which ceased operation in 2010 after a long run following its opening in 1967. The club was purchased by new owners and renamed Grand Ridge, but the swim team was not reestablished until 2018.
The team has grown to 45 members as of the last swim season, after approximately 30 swimmers formed the initial team in 2018. The team participates in meets each Wednesday during the swim season.
“The meets bring the community together and it’s always so much fun,” said Hollingsworth, who has two children on the team, ages 9 and 11. “We’re hoping to get a few more this year and keep on growing … Willowdale always had a swim team, and when it closed before reopening, the interest in the pool kind of died off. The new owners there are really excited about what’s out here, with so many young families moving here, and they’re trying to get that back alive. It’s something they really want to do.
For the fun run, she hopes to ideally have around 100 participants, but said time will tell. Initial interest in the event has been promising, she added.
“If the interest is high, it’s maybe something we can keep on doing,” Hollingsworth said.
Early bird registration is $25 through March 9, and includes a Fun Run T-shirt. After March 9, the cost is $35 to register until race day. Forms can be found at the club or picked up at the pool site. Those interested may contact Liz Hollingsworth by calling 504-234-1739 or e-mailing email@example.com.