Preregistration is now open for the Washington Fair competitive run and fun walk.
The event will take place Saturday, July 28, at 7 a.m. at the city park.
This is the 17th year for the walk/run, one of two pre-Fair events, held to help build excitement for the Washington Fair which opens Aug. 1.
A one-mile kids run also is planned for those ages 12 and younger. A parent or guardian must be present with the child at check-in.
The five-mile competitive run, which takes off first, will have a new route this year, according to Marsha Meyer, event co-chair. Her co-chair is Greg Birkmann.
“We’ve put back in Front Street toward the end of the race,” said Meyer. “Last year we had to avoid that area due to construction, but that’s completed and we like to have the nice flat street for the runners.”
Another change is with the fun walk which will be two miles, rather than 3.1 miles as in the past.
“We wanted to make it a little easier for participants and we’re hoping the walkers will be back about the same time as the runners,” Meyer explained.
The starting point for both the run and walk will be the city park pavilion on Veterans Drive.
The one-mile kids run will begin at about 8 a.m. This route has stayed the same, taking participants halfway around Lions Lake and back to the pavilion.
Meyer said water stations will be set up along the run route — at Front and Main streets and at the Farmers’ Market.
Awards will be given out for the first-place overall male and female run winners, who will receive a gift basket from Brown’s New Balance. The winners of the kids race also will receive a basket.
The top three runners in each age bracket will receive medals, and all children who participate will receive a medal.
Advance registration is not required, but Meyer said it will guarantee runners a dry-fit T-shirt. Registration will open the day of the event at 6:15 a.m. at the pavilion.
The entry fee is $20 for runners and walkers, and $10 for kids.
Meyer said she expects about 200 to participate in all. Among the participants will be the Fair queen candidates and Fair Board members.
Since the walk/run starts so early, Meyer said she’s not too concerned about the heat. She said there will be plenty of water available, as well ice cream, pizza, Pepsi products, fruit and even beer at the end of the race.
“We would love for it to be a little cooler, but we have a lot of runners around here and they’re used to the heat,” she said.
The run/walk sponsors this year are Ballmann Earthworks, Bank of Washington, Boland Real Estate, Brown’s New Balance, Means-Means-Beckerman Financial Group, Pepsi Cola Bottling of New Haven, Philly’s Pizza, Siedhoff Distributing Company, SNAP Fitness 24/7 and Washington Women’s Healthcare.