Dixon Legend 5K and 10K trail run and half-marathon scheduled for March 4

Published: January 31, 2017
Updated: June 21, 2017
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The Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will host its second annual 5K, 10K and half-marathon race on Saturday, March 4, at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center in Andalusia.

The Dixon Legend provides runners an opportunity to explore the diverse forests on more than 5,000 acres. The race will offer a challenge for all fitness levels as runners traverse the property’s network of dirt roads and trails through upland hardwood forests, across stream bottoms and through the rolling hills of the center’s longleaf pine ecosystems.

Trail runs or off-road races have become increasingly popular in recent years. There are only a handful offered in the state and this race is one of the more scenic.

"The Dixon Legend is truly one of a kind with the course set entirely on the beautiful trails and unimproved roads of the Dixon Center," said race organizer Robin Kelley. "It’s truly a win-win for these racers and the center."

The property, adjacent to the Conecuh River and National Forest, was deeded by Solon and Martha Dixon to the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences 35 years ago. Today, the Dixon Center is considered one of the finest educational facilities of its type in the nation. The center functions as a program venue and outdoor classroom for a variety of groups, including students, practitioners and land owners. Others visit the center simply to learn about and enjoy nature.

Historically, the Dixon Center has depended on timber sales as well as agricultural and hunting leases to supplement its operating budget.

"To be fully self-sustaining, we are encouraging other groups to use the facility," said the center’s director, Joel Martin. "This race will introduce the Dixon Center to a different set of outdoor enthusiasts, and hopefully, some of them will want to return to host their own event."

The race is open to runners ages 10 and older. Race details and online registration are available at the Dixon Center website. Runners registered before Feb. 17 will receive a race T-shirt. First-place finishers in each race will be awarded for male/female overall winners and specified age classes. Completion medals will be awarded for the half marathon only.

Contact Martin at mmarti12@auburn.edu or 334-222-7779 for more information or to learn about becoming a sponsor. The race will be held at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center located at 12130 Dixon Center Road, Andalusia, 36420.

A limited number of dorm-style rooms are available for reservation at the Dixon Center. Accommodations can also be found in the nearby communities of Brewton and Andalusia. For more information, go to the Explore Brewton website or the Andalusia Chamber of Commerce website.

The Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center is operated by the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, the flagship for forestry, wildlife and natural resources programs in Alabama and beyond. With world-class faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, the school offers a range of academic and research programs within the areas of forestry, wildlife, natural resource management, geospatial and environmental informatics and sustainable biomaterials and packaging.