{mosimage}Serious runners will tell you it takes blood, sweat and tears to excel at their sport.
    The local chapter of the Red Cross will tell you it takes blood ... lots of it ... for the organization to excel at its mission of saving lives.
    On Saturday, Aug. 16, at 101 Robeson St., in downtown Fayetteville, there’s a collision of sorts between these philosophies when the American Red Cross Highlands Chapter sponsors its 2nd Annual Road Event and Family Fun Walk. Though copious sweat is expected, the only blood the Red Cross wants to see is the donated variety, and the only tears are those of joy as contestants cross the finish line.
    Last year’s inaugural event drew more than 400 participants for the Red Cross fundraiser.
    Marlita Suggs, media spokesperson for the Highlands Chapter, said this year’s event is looking even bigger with more than 500 folks already registered to participate.
    “It’s shaping up to be a tremendous event,” said Suggs. “The people who participated last year had nothing but positive reviews of the run and family walk. We have not just locals registering, but runners from across the state.”
    The Road Event and Family Fun Walk is one of several fundraisers sponsored by the Highlands Chapter of the Red Cross. It is the largest road race in Fayetteville. There will be three events: the 2008 RRCA North Carolina 10K State Championship, the 5K Road Event and the 1Mile Family Fun Walk.
    The starting point is across from the Airborne & Special Operations Museum; a detailed route is a available on the ARC Web site, www.highlandsarc.com.
    Starting times are 7:30 a.m. for the 5K, 7:50 a.m. for the 10K, and 8 a.m. for the Family Fun Walk.
    There will be awards for the top three overall male and female runners in the 5K and 10K and in the following age groups: 9-12, 13-15, 16-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 and over.
    Prizes will be awarded to the top three wheelchair entrants and to the youngest and oldest walker. Awards will also be given to the school/club with the largest participation in the 5K and 10K category.
    Race day registration will start at 5 a.m. at the race location and end at 7 a.m. Race packets will be available for pick up onsite at 5 a.m. on race day and end at 7 a.m.
    There is a $20 race day adult advance registration fee for all age groups; $15 advance registration for ages 3-18; $20 late registration for all age groups; free for ages 12 & under. All registration fees are nonrefundable.
    Should rain be predicted for race morning, all three events (5K, 10K, and Fun Walk) will nevertheless go forward as planned.
    Strollers, kids’ wagons and dogs on leashes are allowed. All participants will receive a T-shirt and goodie bag. Additional T-shirts may be purchased for $8 online or at the event on race day.
    Register online at www.highlandsarc.com. For more information, call Marilyn Martinez at (910) 867-8151.

Tim Wilkins, Associate Editor
COMMENTS? 484-6200 ext. 105 or tim@upandcomingweekly.com

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