The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 9, 2013

Third Spencer Black run set for Saturday in Coxey

— Hundreds of locals and out-of-towners are expected to converge in Coxey on Saturday at a race named after a man that never met a stranger.

The third annual Spencer Black 5K will be held at 8:30 a.m., May 11, at Blue Springs Elementary School. The 1-mile fun run will start at 9:15 a.m.

A pre-race ceremony begins at 8:15 a.m. near the Blue Springs playground to honor the late Spencer Black, the former director of the Limestone County Emergency Management Agency.

Black, who led fundraising efforts at Clements High School and Blue Springs and served as the Colts’ football announcer, died at age 67 due to a head injury from a fallen limb while trimming trees in his backyard in 2010.

In addition to leading the EMA for 38 years, Black was also the patriarch of a family of educators. Among those planning to attend Saturday’s race are his children, Jason Black and Samantha Fleming, and grandsons, Miles Fleming, 11, and Jake Fleming, 5.

Jason and Samantha, this year’s secondary teacher of the year, both teach for Limestone County Schools. Spencer’s wife, Marcia, taught for 28 years at Clements, and Jason’s wife, Velvet teaches at Clements.

All of Spencer Black’s grandchildren typically participate in a balloon release following the singing of the national anthem, but granddaughters Jasey Black, 13, and Allie Ruth Black, 9, will be out of town for a chorus field trip.

Samantha Fleming said her parents taught their family to volunteer and show compassion in the community. She said her father had the ability to remember people, and had an expansive network of contacts.

“Daddy was amazing to me because no matter where we went — even on a family trip we took to Canada — he would see someone he knew and call them by name,” Fleming said. “He was very giving, and he did whatever he could to help anybody. If he couldn’t get something done, he could always find somebody to get things accomplished.”

Blue Springs physical education teacher Zach Meadows is this year’s race organizer. He said the run, which raises money for Clements and Blue Springs, generated more than $5,000 in 2010 and 2011.

“We already have 200 registered, and we’re expecting at least 300 registrants. We’ll have the race rain or shine unless there’s lightning, and then we’ll just wait it out,” Meadows said. “The course goes back on the south side of 72 on Hardy Road, and it will end on the competition track at Blue Springs. We have a lot of students competing in the fun run, and we get a lot of people from all over Alabama because it’s very scenic.”

Blue Springs is 12 miles west of Athens at the corner of U.S. 72 and Hardy Road. Race day registration will begin at 7 a.m., and the cost is $20 for the 5K, $10 for the 1-mile or $25 for both races. Pre-registration at will close today.

For more information, contact Meadows at 256-729-4092, ext. 2137.

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