Wild Flower 5k Not Just A Competition For Runners

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Town of Payson Recreation Coordinator Beth Kreider is keeping her fingers crossed, hoping there's a good turnout for Saturday's Wild Flower 5K Walk and Run.

Participation in some town-sponsored runs have been a bit disappointing and Kreider says she'd like to see young and old alike take advantage of the opportunity the event offers.

The run is set to begin at 9 a.m. and will be preceded by about a 45-minute registration period. However, the fee on race day is $15.

Pre-registration, which may be completed at the P&R offices located at Green Valley Park, is only $10. All pre-registered participants receive a souvenir race shirt and a complimentary action photo.

Kreider emphasizes that the event doesn't have to be a race. Participants may walk or jog at their own pace. The purpose of the event is to have fun, enjoy the beautiful surroundings at Green Valley Park, rack up some beneficial exercise and possibly make new friends.

Call Kreider at 474-5242, ext 272 for more information.

It's broken
Payson High School senior Hunter Walden's state home run record of 17 stood for only one year.

In 1998 , Walden and teammate Bryan Zumbro, who swatted 16, both broke the previous Arizona record of 14. Last week, Tempe Desert Vista slugger Corey Myers tied, then broke Walden's mark with a pair of round trippers.

The blast that broke Walden's mark was a grand slam. Only days later, Myers upped the record to 19. With a few games remaining until the 5A state tournament begins on May 10, Myers could tack on even more home runs.

More permits
The Arizona Game and Fish Department will be awarding a record number 23,105 elk permits in Arizona this season.

That's an increase of over 4,000 from what were given out last season.

Units 4A, 5A and 7 will see the biggest increase. 4A includes the Woods Canyon area east of Payson. 5A is a highly desirable hunt location north of Strawberry to near Flagstaff. Unit 7 is located in the Coconino National Forest near Williams.

Game and Fish officials say the larger allotment was necessary because of an increase in animal numbers over past years. El Niains last spring helped provide ideal living conditions for the animals and they survived at a record rate. More permits will help control the bulging elk population.

Local hunting guide Ty Goodman, who has hunted and fished the Rim country for many years, says he hasn't noticed a big increase in elk numbers despite what AG&F reports indicate.

In Unit 22 near Payson, Goodman says, the number of "big bulls" seems to be down over previous years.

Rumsey reservations
Rumsey Park ramada and field reservations can be made through the Parks and Recreation Office by calling 474-5242. Prices vary for each facility and reservations should be made at least seven days in advance.

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