Destin's third Bayou, Bay & Back 5K Run/Walk, 10K & Half Marathon, sponsored by Shoreline Church, is set to take place Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.



The USA Track & Field-certified half marathon will begin at Clement Taylor Park in Destin at 7:30 a.m., and the 5K/USATF-certified 10K will begin at 8 a.m., rain or shine. While all courses are set alongside Destin waterways, the half marathon course yields breathtaking views of the Choctawhatchee Bay, Destin Harbor, and East Pass, as it leads you through Destin, along a 4-mile undeveloped stretch of Okaloosa Island, and back. The races are organized by the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce.



“In only the second year, we had a little more than 500 participants, so it’s growing faster than we had expected,” said chamber President and CEO Shane Moody.  “As it grows, more and more participants will come from out of town to participate — there were 13 states represented last year.”



And Moody projects a racer ripple effect.



“They’ll spend money and support our members,” he said. “Add to that the number of local residents who participate in the event, who go out to eat or shopping or spend money in other places that day, and we add something to the economy.”



A portion of the proceeds will once again benefit the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, an organization committed to sustaining and providing optimum utilization of the Choctawhatchee Basin watershed.



Until Jan. 25, the race registration fee is $30 for the 10K and 5K and $60 for the Half Marathon. Registration may be completed by downloading and completing the race registration form linked to the chamber website at www.destinchamber.com. Registration is also available at www.Active.com until Jan. 23. On race day, the registration fee is $35 for the 10K and 5K and $70 for the Half Marathon, and registration may be completed at Clement Taylor Park, located at 131 Calhoun Avenue, in Destin, from 6 to 7 a.m. T-shirts are guaranteed to the first 600 participants.



The chamber thanks all event sponsors, including title sponsor Shoreline Church; accommodations sponsor ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals; gold sponsors Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc., Emerald Coast Chiropractic, Miller's Ale House and Whataburger; silver sponsors 105.5 the Wolf, 99Rock, Buffalo Rock Pepsi, Carter & Company CPA, LLC, City of Destin, Coast 93.3, Ecco Motors, Fudpucker's Beachside Bar & Grill, NewsTalk 1260, and Z96; and bronze sponsors Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Coastal Skin Surgery and Dermatology, and Eglin Federal Credit Union.



Awards will be presented to the winners, male and female, in multiple age categories. Finisher medals will be awarded to those completing the half marathon.



The event began three years ago and drew the winner of “The Biggest Loser” for two years. Now, according to Moody, Panama City has started a similar event and even signed a $60,000 contract with “The Biggest Loser” for three years.



“Isn’t imitation the greatest form of flattery? So with continued support from our sponsors, our business community, and hopefully our TDC, we’ll be able to build this into a must-attend, must-participate event,” Moody said. “And with all the fun stuff, like the Bloody Mary bar we’ll have set up and the great post-race event with great food and beverages, it’s really an event for everyone.”



For more information or to sponsor this event, please contact Suzy Nicholson Hunt at (850) 837-2711 Ext. 2 or suzyhunt@DestinChamber.com.