The Dr. James H. Crowdis Run began as the Blakely Heart Fund Run and was held for the first time on March 28, 1981. Sponsored by the Blakely Rotary Club and the Blakely-Early County Recreation Department, the run was one of several events organized to raise money for the Heart Fund. Instrumental in organizing the first race was Dr. Paul Angeloff, district chairman for the Heart Fund and former president of the Dothan Runners Club, and local runner Buck Grist who would serve as race director for ten years. Local chairman for the Heart Fund was Dr. James H. Crowdis. In 1983 the race was renamed in honor of Dr. Crowdis.