Planning is under way for the third annual Blytheville Chili Cookoff 5K Run/Walk, to be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Blytheville Youth Sportsplex.
Held in conjunction with the annual Blytheville Chili Cookoff, proceeds from the race benefit the United Way. The 5K is sponsored by Tenaris.
Organizers say the number of runners and walkers taking part in the event has grown every year. Approximately 75 participants took park the first year of the event, in 2009. That number grew to more than 100 in 2010, and planners are hoping for more than 200 this year.
New to the 5K this year is a new website. Found at http://blytheville5K.webs.com, the website contains registration information, as well as links to results and photos from previous years. Participants can register for the 5K directly from a link on the website. There is also a Facebook page associated with the event, called "Blytheville 5K." The Facebook page will include regular event notices and other training tips, organizers say.
Also new this year will be awards for walkers in each age category. Previously, only the top five overall walkers were recognized. The top three finishers in each age group for runners will also be recognized.
The course, which winds around the Sportsplex and the Aeroplex, is USATF certified, and is known at a flat, fast course. Race timing will be provided by Stearns Race Timing.
Registration cost is $20. To register, go to http://blytheville5K.webs.com. Both online and mail-in registration are available. Registration forms are also available at Southern Bankcorp. Everyone who registers by Oct. 3 will be guaranteed an official race t-shirt.
Online registration will be open until Thursday, Oct. 13. Race-day registration will be accepted until 7:15 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. No registrations will be accepted after this time.
Packet pickup will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 at Southern Bankcorp (Main office, 120 S. Second St., Blytheville). There will also be packet pickup on race day.
To qualify for awards in the walking categories, participants must walk the entire course. Those planning to run and walk should register as runners.