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Columbus set for busy weekend


Adam Minichino



While things will be busy in Starkville with Super Bulldog Weekend, there will be plenty to do this weekend in Columbus. 


The sports-packed weekend will kick off tonight with the Golden Triangle All-Stars tournament, a two-day Amateur Athletic Union basketball tournament at West Lowndes Middle School, West Lowndes High School and Mississippi University for Women. The event will feature middle school games starting at 6 tonight at West Lowndes Middle School. The tournament will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and will feature action at all three venues. GTA All-Stars coach Jeff Smith is running the tournament, which includes 30 teams from the Greater Golden Triangle area, West Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Alabama. A schedule for the tournament is on page 2B. 


On Saturday, runners and athletes are invited to attend or participate in the inaugural Pilgrimage Half Marathon / 5-Kilometer race in downtown Columbus. Both races will start and finish at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center on Main Street. The half marathon will start at 7 a.m. The course includes a tour around the Columbus Soccer Complex, First Baptist Church, through MUW, the south side of Columbus, the Columbus Riverwalk, the island and back across the reconstructed river bridge to the finish line. 


The 5K will begin at 7:15 a.m. Aid stations will be every two miles on the half marathon course and at the halfway point of the 5K. Food and beverages will be available at the finish line. 


Organized by Columbus' Brad and Melissa Atkins, the race is held in conjunction with the city's annual pilgrimage, which includes a tour of its historic homes. 


The half marathon will feature a total prize purse of $4,100. The first overall male and female finishers will receive $750. There must be at least two competitors in a category to be eligible for the cash prizes. Overall winners also will receive pottery awards. Top finishers in the 5K also will receive pottery awards. 


The registration fee for the half marathon is $70. The registration fee for the 5K is $35. Participants who pre-registered can pick up their packets from 4-7 p.m. today and from 5:30-6:30 a.m. Saturday at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center. Those interested in competing can register at those times. 


For those of you who favor soccer, you will have plenty to choose from, as the Columbus United Soccer Club will play host to its annual Spring Friends and Family Day, the longest-running free soccer event in the state. The event kicks off today and runs through Saturday at the Cook Soccer Complex. 


Columbus United is the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Association's Division II competitive soccer club. The Dispatch will feature more exciting news about Columbus United in Sunday's edition. 


After two days of soccer, the CLRA adult league will bring the action to a close at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. with matches at the Columbus Soccer Complex. Reunited will play the Thunder Chickens at 4 p.m., followed by a match between the Gladiators and the Leon Football Club at 5:30 p.m. 


Follow Dispatch sports editor Adam Minichino on Twitter @ctsportseditor.


Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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