SPORTS

Rodeo Run is not just a race, but an event

TINA HARBUCK
More than 150 lined up to run the Rodeo Run last year, despite the rain.

With the Rodeo Run hitting the pavement the first weekend in October, it's not just a foot race anymore, "it's an event," says race director Kimmy Meyers.

Runners, who participate in the Rodeo Run 5K set for Oct. 5, will be able to walk right down to the 36th annual Seafood Festival stretched out along Destin harbor or visit the Destin Fishing Rodeo on the docks behind AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar. The rodeo scales will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

"I'm excited, with the seafood festival and rodeo it's going to be an awesome day," Meyers said.

Last year the Rodeo Run registered 183.

"People wait until the last minute, but I'm expecting us to hit 200 if the weather is nice," Meyers said.

About a fourth of the people who participate in the race are from out of town from such places as Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. "And they're repeats," she said.

Not only does the race draw those from out of town, but also many locals come back year and after year, Meyers said.

Entry fee is $20 and registration will be open on race day at 7 a.m. at Clement Taylor Park on Calhoun Avenue. The first 200 to register will receive a Rodeo Run T-shirt.

"Wait until you see the T-shirts … they are going to be the best ever," Meyers said, not wanting to give away the mystery design.

The race, which is flat, fast and simple, will start at Clement Taylor Park run down Calhoun to Cross Street to the bay and back to Clement Taylor Park.

All runners are invited to the after-party upstairs at AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar immediately following the race. In addition to food and beer, runners will be awarded for their efforts and will also be eligible for the raffling of prizes.

Meyers also has several volunteers that help with the event.

"Paul Voigt is a big help with the sponsorships," she said. Plus, "We couldn't have a race without our local runner volunteers from the Northwest Florida Track Club and Run With It."

This year proceeds from the race will benefit Ronald McDonald House as well as the Miss Destin Scholarship Fund. Mike Wright of McDonald's will be at the park prior to the race selling the red and white striped Ronald McDonald socks before the event.

Registration is available online at active.com or forms can be picked up at Run With It in Fort Walton Beach or at the Destin Fishing Rodeo Office on Stahlman Ave. in Destin. For more information, call Meyers at 850-496-0590.