On Saturday, Dec. 15, more than 1,550 runners competed in Clearwater in the 24th annual “Say No to Drugs” Holiday Classic.

Sponsored by the Dianetics Athletics Association of the Church of Scientology, the race delivers the message that a healthy, fun lifestyle is a bona fide alternative in a world rife with drug abuse.

“We were pleased to see so many fine athletes come out again this year to compete in the Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic and take a stand against substance abuse. These athletes are important role models for our youth, demonstrating that a drug free life can be health and genuinely fun at the same time,” said Chris Alexander, Race Director.

The deaths of more than 24 people every day in the State of Florida are related to drug abuse in some way, according to the Department of Law Enforcement. The Dianetics Athletics Association teamed up with supporters and sponsors to make it clear that most Floridians do not agree with this situation and want to do something about it. Sponsors included Einstein Bagels, Costco, Cliff Bar, Auto Loop, WQYK radio, Power Bar, Consumer Energy Solutions, American Running Company, Sports Authority, Nationwide Title, Java Planet, Nature’s Food Patch, Postcard Mania, Botanica Day Spa and many more.

Educational materials on drugs of abuse were distributed to runners by volunteers from The Foundation for a Drug Free World, so they can help educate others on the dangers inherent in illicit drug usage.

There were runners ages 6 to 84 in the 1 mile run, 5K and 10K with 24 elite runners participating.

The men’s overall winner of the 5K race was Nick Miehe, of Tarpon Springs, at 16:25.
Women’s overall winner of the 5K race was Kristen Tenaglia at 18:23.
The men’s overall winner of the 10K race was Jon Mott at 32:23.
Women’s overall winner of the 10K race was Sara Petrick at 37:25.

Find complete race results HERE

All runners received a bag stuffed with goodies, a long sleeved tech shirt, and along with their guests enjoyed a complementary pancake breakfast after the race. Race winners won a $1,000 cash prize, and 225 plaques and trophies were awarded to winners and runners up in the different age categories.

All race proceeds over the cost of the race are donated to charitable and social betterment organizations including Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, West Florida Y Runner’s Club, and the drug rehabilitation program Narconon.

About the Dianetics Athletics Association

The Dianetics Athletics Association is an affiliation of individuals who pursue sporting activities as an enjoyable element of a healthy lifestyle, free from substance abuse. An initiative of parishioners of the Church of Scientology, for the past 24 years the Dianetics Athletics Association has supported and sponsored sporting events and teams in a variety of fields including running, softball, basketball, swimming and sailing. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, discouraged people from taking drugs and encourage them to seek help in getting off them. For more information about the Dianetics Athletics Association or Say No To Drugs Race, call (727) 434-3409 or visit www.saynotodrugs.com.