By Doug Roberson
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Samira Rahimi isn't a runner, but organizers and sponsors of the Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon thought she captured the spirit of the event perfectly in her design for the poster for the races, which will be held Sunday in Atlanta.
The winning entry features dozens of circles in a palette of colors, with larger circles in the foreground giving way to smaller ones the deeper you go into the background.
It looks, as race director Jeff Graves said at the unveiling Tuesday at Savannah College of Art and Design, like "all the participants' heads are bouncing as they start the race."
Samira, a graduate student studying motion media, won a $1,500 scholarship for her design.
"I started thinking about what the marathon is all about," she said. "It's not about a competition among professional athletics. It’s a happy, fresh and colorful gathering of people from all races, colors, ages, professions and thoughts… there's no limitation. That's why I came up with this design."
More than 60 students competed in the contest in early October. Each had 13 hours and one minute -- a half-marathon is 13.1 miles -- to come up with their design. To get into the spirit of the event, videos of marathons were shown and the designers were provided lots of carbohydrates, just like runners ingest to prepare for races.
Faculty at SCAD narrowed the field to five. A group of five people associated with the races deliberated for 30 minutes in February before choosing the winner. The second-place finisher, Ryan Vihlen, received a $500 scholarship. The other finalists, Sarah Butler, Eric Beatty and Trillian Nahser, received medals.
The winning design has been put on 18,000 posters, which will be given to the runners. All of the designs will be showcased on framed posters in the VIP area during the weekend's races.
"It just had the color; it all hit us," Graves said. "There were great ones, but this one really captured our eye."