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Thousands participate in 40th annual Fuzz Run
Fuzz Run 2023
On Saturday, Sept. 9, the Covington Police Department hosted their 40th annual Fuzz Run, with 2,364 runners and approximately 3,000 attendees overall. The yearly event, which entails one mile fun run and 5K race, is held as a fundraiser for the Police Who Care (PWC) fund and has remained a staple in the community for the last four decades. - photo by Michael Bandoo

COVINGTON, Ga. – Saturday morning marked the Covington Police Department’s (CPD) 40th annual Fuzz Run, a fundraiser for the Police Who Care (PWC) fund. Established in 1983, the one mile fun run and 5K race has remained a staple in the community for the last four decades.

Allen Martin
CDP Lieutenant and Fuzz Run race director, Allen Martin - photo by Michael Bandoo

Amassing 2,364 runners and roughly 3,000 attendees overall, CPD Lieutenant and Fuzz Run race director Allen Martin said this year’s Fuzz Run was marketed with its 40th anniversary in mind to emphasize its significance.

“Based on its own reputation, it just gets bigger each year because people know where the money goes,” Martin said. “People like to be part of it. They love seeing officers out there playing volleyball or cornhole with the kids in uniform. It’s showing off the human side of what many people see on the news – [in] this day and age, police officers have been looked at in a different light – but then they see us out there and it’s different. They understand that we’re normal people. I think it’s just the continuation of what we continue to build each year.”

Grayson Poynter, member of Eastside High School’s cross country team, won the race overall for the second consecutive year. Vanessa Dougherty came in first place in the overall female category.

For each overall category, winners received a special edition trophy commemorating the 40th Fuzz Run, etched with the number 40 and the CPD logo. Winners for each age group received placement medals.

Following the event, Fuzz Run participants and attendees were encouraged to check out the post-race festivities at Legion Field. Vendors, live music, food and children’s activities were offered. Additionally, runners were gifted with more swag, such as towels and bags, adding to the celebration of the race’s 40th anniversary.

Martin said Fuzz Run planning begins each year in January to prepare for the highly anticipated event. With the CPD’s years of experience in hosting the race, this year’s Fuzz Run proceeded particularly smoothly, according to Martin.

“It went really, really well. This is the first year in a number of years that I’ve not only been the race director, but been part of the Fuzz Run that it went off pretty much without a hitch,” Martin said. “Everything went very, very smooth. Our participation levels were great. Sponsorship levels were great. Everything, logistically setting up for it. The day of, everything just went really, really well. Very excited and looking back on it, it was just a great event in my opinion.”

As a runner himself, Martin personally looks forward to the starting gun to kick off the race – seeing the excitement of over 2,000 people surpassing the start line. With a “relatively” easy course that’s “not too hilly,” Martin said the Fuzz Run is beneficial for all participants.

On the importance of the CPD continuing the Fuzz Run tradition, Martin noted the community service aspect and purpose behind the event.

“It’s service to the community,” Martin said. “I think it’s the PWC and where that money goes within our community and the fallen officers all across the state and quite frankly, across the southeast – the fallen officers and their families and officers injured in the line of duty as well. 

“Also to show that humanitarian side of police officers in our community outreach program of what we continually strive to do, whether it be through the Fuzz Run or Shop with a Cop or other things like that. Showing the softer side of police work and our dedication to giving back to the community that serves us so well.”

For an in depth report on this year’s Fuzz Run results, visit