Published on February 21, 2006 by Sean Flynt  

Join cyclists from throughout the region on Saturday, April 22, for The Old Howard 100, a ride through Alabama's historic Black Belt sponsored by Samford's Howard College of Arts & Sciences. Proceeds from the ride will benefit Sowing Seeds of Hope, a partnership between Perry County and Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that seeks to improve the quality of life and work in Perry County through improved educational opportunities, healthcare, tourism, transportation and economic development.

The ride will begin at the front drive of Judson College at 9 a.m. and is suitable for almost all levels of riders. The route is relatively level and lightly trafficked, and although this is "century" or 100-mile ride, riders can choose from a variety of shorter distance goals. Even first-time riders at the 2005 event made it the 26 miles to Greensboro before catching a support vehicle back to Marion.

Volunteer opportunities abound for those who want to help but don't want to ride (follow the link below for contact information). Family and friends not riding in the event can explore historic Marion, tour Samford's newly-purchased house there, browse the sidewalk sale planned for the day and visit attractions in nearby Greensboro and Newburn.

For directions to Marion, Old Howard 100 route details, updates, links, lodging contacts and electronic registration, visit the Old Howard 100 Web site:

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.