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Taming the Neff Lake Monster at the Spring Lake Memorial Classic May 25

By Diane Bedard Posted on May 2, 2019

In 2007, 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 roads surrounding this nonprofit organization serving adults with developmental disabilities were hilly and shaded, with minimal traffic, and so the Spring Lake Classic was begun.

Thirteen years later, The Arc Nature Coast will host the Spring Lake Memorial Classic 10K, 5K and 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, May 25 at The Arc Nature Coast Campus, 5283 Neff Lake Road in Brooksville, Florida.

“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/developmental disabilities,” says Nancy Stubbs, Development Director for The Arc Nature Coast.

With sponsors and runners contributing to the Spring Lake Memorial Classic, the funds raised go toward providing services such as life skills development, employment, transportation and community access for people who are on the Medicaid Waiver wait list. “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 is a sponsor, as is Sponsorship levels range from $250 – $2,500. “We are truly grateful for our sponsors and our volunteers,” Nancy states emphatically.

The hills are tough in this area of Florida, often referred to as the Brooksville Ridge with rolling hills and plenty of shade.

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.

Runners love this race.

Registration is available at For sponsorship, information, or registration, please call 352-544-2322, extension 109 or visit The Arc Nature Coast’s website at

What about the Neff Lake Monster?

“The legend of the Neff Lake monster remains a mystery, but some say 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 an event for everyone. With three levels of competition at 10k, 5k and 2-mile fun run/walk, a good time can be had by all.

About the Spring Lake Memorial Classic

The Spring Lake, Florida foot race will be held in scenic eastern Hernando County.

But don’t let the majestic trees and peaceful setting fool you; these are some of the toughest hills in Florida!

All three courses take participants along shaded, tree-draped roads and over some very challenging hills.

Registration begins at 6:00 a.m. The 10K race starts at 7:15, 5K at 7:45 and the 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk begins at 8:00 a.m.

Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place finishers in various age groups. A food fest will follow 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.

Event T-shirts are guaranteed to all those who register by May 15th. Register online by clicking here.

Racers of all levels are welcome at the Spring Lake Memorial Classic.

The Spring Lake Memorial Classic is for Everyone

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.

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

And the residents are always smiling.

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.

All proceeds will benefit The Arc Nature Coast, a 501-C-3, nonprofit organization that provides supports and services for more than 275 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in Hernando, Pasco and surrounding Counties.

Starting and finishing at The Arc Nature Coast’s Neff Lake Campus, volunteers help make the event great!

Registration is available at For information or registration, call 352-544-2322, extension 109 or visit The Arc Nature Coast’s website at