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Though wintry weather continues to shake Kentucky, it won’t be long before runners and walkers kick off the chill and head for an outside track. Now’s the time to reserve your spot to test your mettle surrounded by the beautiful green landscapes of each location for the annual Kentucky State Parks’ race series held on four Saturdays, April through July.
The 2010 schedule includes 5K competitions at four different parks, each with individual scenic and terrain personalities.
The May and July races at Barren River and Rough River State Resort parks are made for booking a getaway weekend for runners and family and friends alike.
The series is sponsored in part by John’s Family of Stores located in Lexington.
Runners in each race become eligible for awards—points are awarded by gender and finish time within age divisions. Points awarded for each race combine for cumulative scores for the series’ scores. The top male and female runner who finishes the series with the greatest number of points, win grand prizes to be announced at the awards ceremony after the final race.
The registration fee for 5K runs is $15 a piece. Fees go up $5 for day-of-race sign up but pre-register for the series no later than April 9 and get a price break: $50 for all. To be assured a race t-shirt, pre-registration must be received no later than the day prior to each race date. Shirts will be given out for race day sign-ups as long as supplies last.
If running isn’t your pace, sign up for the 5K “Get Fit” fun walks at each park on the same dates. Walks are $10 per race or $30 for the series (registration completed by April 9; $5 more day of race). Again, to be sure to receive a race t-shirt, walkers must register by the day prior to each race date. Shirts will be given out to day-of-race registrants for as long as the supply lasts. Kids in strollers and pets on a leash are welcome to accompany registered walkers.
“Get Fit” walkers are eligible for door prizes and receive a certificate of participation.
Series runners who have a birthday that falls between the first and last race dates that boosts them into another bracket should compete in the older division.
Registration forms and race rules can be downloaded at www.parks.ky.gov where there is information about divisions, the point system and a map of race locations. Completed individual race registrations should be mailed to the host park to the attention of those listed below. Series registrations should be mailed to Shawn Pickens, recreation director, Kentucky Department of Parks, 500 Mero Street, Frankfort, Ky. 40601.
Reservations for overnight or weekend stays at the park lodges, cabins or campsites can be made at www.parks.ky.gov or by calling 1-888-4KY-PARK (1-888-459-7275).
Locations and contacts for each race are:
• Goose Creek 5K at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, April 10 at 9 a.m. EST. Contact Vanessa Fraley at 502-429-7270 or Vanessa.Fraley@ky.gov.
• Barren River 5K Classic, Barren River State Resort Park, May 15 at 8:30 CST. Contact Lisa Deavers at 270-646-2151 or Lisa.Deavers@ky.gov.
• Possum Ridge 5K at Taylorsville Lake State Park, June 12 at 8 a.m. EST. Contact Shawn Pickens at 502-564-4940 ext. 247 or Shawn.Pickens@ky.gov.
• Magnolia 5K at Rough River Dam State Resort Park, July 10 at 8 a.m. CST. Contact Sheila Jones at 270-257-2311 or Sheila.Jones@ky.gov.