Gather Friends and Family to Run or Walk the Spring Lake Memorial Classic 10k/5k/2M on May 28

By Diane Bedard Posted on April 28, 2022

Fifteen years after the idea to hold a foot race and fun run/walk in the beautiful area surrounding The Arc Nature Coast’s Neff Lake Campus was born, the Spring Lake Memorial Classic 10k. 5k, and 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk continues to attract competitive runners, as well as enthusiastic walkers like me.

Held on the shaded roads with minimal traffic that surround a nonprofit organization serving adults with developmental disabilities, the Spring Memorial Lake Classic began in 2007, drawing participants to its ideal race environment.

From its humble beginnings, the Spring Lake Memorial Classic 10K, 5K, and 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk has grown to a popular event for serious runners. The Neff Lake Monster hills are part of what made this event continue to grow with competitive runners from around Florida.

The warm welcome given at the registration, where numbers are given to participants for recording our achievements, and the warm welcome at the end of the race, where snacks are served by friendly volunteers keeps me coming back for more.

“What makes this race stand out from others is that it is Florida’s toughest, most scenic race, and although it’s not a hugely attended race, it’s popular. People enjoy it (some say they love to hate it) and it’s done to support local programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” says Nancy Stubbs, Development Director for The Arc Nature Coast.

Spring Lake Memorial Classic is a Great Challenge for all Levels of Fitness

The 10k runners go first, with each person’s time recorded by the start/finish boundary. Then 5k runners start, then the 2-mile fun runners take off. I walked. It was a real challenge for me – and an accomplishment when I came back through. Video by Diane Bedard.

What do the Participants Say?

“This was a GREAT event today. Thank you, The course was BRUTAL and FUN. I loved bananas, apples, etc. afterward. The volunteers and police were awesome. I like the tech shirt, too. “    ~ Jason Wetherington, 2018.

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the organizers and volunteers today.  Everything was really well organized with a very friendly, welcoming atmosphere.”  ~ Steve Farnell, 2018.

“I had a blast! I’ll be back next year. Even though I only made the fun walk, I am still proud to be part of such a great event.” – Diane Bedard, 2021

Runners of all ages love this race. Image courtesy of The Arc Nature Coast.

Registration is available by clicking here. For sponsorship, information, or registration, please call Nancy Stubbs, Race Director, at (727) 619-0694 or email her at [email protected]. You can also visit The Arc Nature Coast’s website at www.tancinc.org.

What about the Neff Lake Monster?

spring lake
The hills in Spring Lake, outside the Neff Lake campus of The Arc Nature Coast are tough. Image by Diane Bedard.

“The legend of the Neff Lake monster remains a mystery, but some say it stems from the fact that the hills on the course are a beast!” Nancy shares when asked about the famed character. When asked if the monster was actually in Neff Lake, she simply smiled and shook her head.

The Spring Lake Memorial Classic is for Everyone

Racers of all levels are welcome at the Spring Lake Memorial Classic. Image courtesy of The Arc Nature Coast.

Whether you want a 10k Challenge or a 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk, the Spring Lake Memorial Classic is a great way to get out and have fun while helping a worthwhile cause. Gather your friends and family and make a morning of it!

Some of those served by The Arc Nature Coast participate in the race. It’s entirely up to them. Some of the residents at its neighboring Group Home will come and participate by volunteering.

It is truly a feel-good event – both physically and emotionally.

Members of The Arc Nature Coast family participate in the race and as volunteers. Image courtesy of The Arc Nature Coast.

All Sponsorships and Entry Fees support The Arc Nature Coast

With funds from both sponsors and runners contributing to the Spring Lake Memorial Classic, monies raised go toward providing life skills development, employment, transportation, and community access services for people who are on the Medicaid Waiver waitlist. “It helps our clients get involved quickly, giving them and their caregivers a healthy outlet for growth,” Nancy explains.

Eurotech is the race’s Gold sponsor this year. Florida’s Adventure Coast, UTech CNC, Insurance Office of America, Machine Maxx, Oak Hill Hospital, The T.U.F.F. Trainer, Welcome OM Integrative & Healing Center, Hengesbach & Hengesbach, Erin Daly, and Merritt Funeral Home, as well as your NatureCoaster.com are sponsoring this year’s event so far.

Sponsorships are still available, and levels range from $250 – $2,500. For sponsorship information, please call Nancy Stubbs at (727) 619-0694 or email her at [email protected]

“We are truly grateful for all of our sponsors and our volunteers,” Nancy states emphatically.

Nancy Stubbs, Development Director and Race Director, with her brother, Gary Stubbs, a client of The Arc Nature Coast, on one of their many outdoor adventures. Image courtesy of Nancy Stubbs.

About The Arc Nature Coast

The Arc Nature Coast was established in 1972 by a small group of citizens concerned with the lack of services and activities for adults with developmental disabilities. At that time the organization acquired 30 acres of naturally wooded land on Neff Lake Road and has provided services from that location since.

In recent years, The Arc Nature Coast moved its main offices to 15782 Little Ranch Road, Spring Hill, FL 34610, but some group homes and classrooms are still located on the Neff Lake Road property.

Finishing the 2 Mile Walk was a success for me. The people who put the Spring Lake Memorial Classic on, and the people who participate are friendly and fun. Image by Dennis Bedard.

About the Spring Lake Memorial Classic 10k/5k/2 Mile Fun Run/Walk May 28

  • The Spring Lake, Florida foot race will be held in scenic eastern Hernando County.
  • Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. The 10K race starts at 7:30, 5K at 7:40 and the 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk begins at 7:45 a.m.
  • Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place finishers in various age groups. Snacks will be served after the race.
  • The entry fee is $35.00 for the 10K (a.k.a. Neff Lake Monster), $30.00 for the 5K and $25.00 for the 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk.  The cost increases by $5.00 per race on the day of the event.
  • Registration is available online at *Spring Lake Memorial Classic* 2Mile / 5K / 10K (runsignup.com). For information or registration, call (727) 619-0700, or visit The Arc Nature Coast’s website at www.tancinc.org.

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