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Examiner
  • Get ready to run

  • Whether you ran the inaugural Independence Park Trot competitively, at a leisurely pace or not at all, the Independence Health Department wants the community to know two things: The race is back for 2013, and once again, it’s free.

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  • Whether you ran the inaugural Independence Park Trot competitively, at a leisurely pace or not at all, the Independence Health Department wants the community to know two things: The race is back for 2013, and once again, it’s free.
    Online registration for the second annual Independence 5K Park Trot starts Tuesday at www.independenceparktrot.com. Just like this year’s event in April, registration is free, and the 5K is certified.
    The rain-or-shine event will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 4 at Waterfall Park, just south of Bass Pro Shops. At this time, no limit exists on the number of participants. Online registration is open through April 20, and those interested can still register in person the day before or the day of the race at packet pickup. Those details will be released later.
    Park Trot started as part of Building a Healthier Independence, and the Health Department decided to bring back the event because of its popularity, Public Health Specialist Cynthia Epp said. More than 1,000 people registered for this year’s event, and at least 750 chip-timed participants were logged.
    “We had a lot of people say that it was the first 5K they had ever done and that everyone in their family was doing it and that everyone could do it because they didn’t have to pay a fee for each person,” Epp said. “I think that really encouraged people to try something new that they wouldn’t have otherwise done.”
    While grant funds through Building a Healthier Independence make it possible to put on a race without a registration fee, the Health Department is asking area businesses to sponsor this year’s race.
    So far, Bass Pro Shops, The Examiner, Nature’s Pantry have announced their sponsorship, and the Health Department also will ask area businesses to contribute donated raffle prizes again this year.
    “I think after the holidays, we’ll pick that back up,” Epp said. “We’re hoping to get a lot of sponsors so we can continue to do this at no cost to participants.”
    In 2012, the first 150 people to register received free race T-shirts, but in 2013, the T-shirts will be available for sale at $4.50 each for kids and regular adult sizes.
    Many training websites say it can take as little as a month to train for a 5K, or 3.1 miles. For those who are thinking about participating in the 2013 Park Trot, Epp offered a simpler reason: “It’s free, so there is no risk involved,” she said.
    “It’s just a fun time for the community to come out and experience one of our more popular parks,” Epp said. “It’ll be spring, the weather will be warming up, and people will be wanting to get out after being cooped up all winter – it’ll be a great chance to do that.”  
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