New Times 10k Run 'A Hoot'

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It's not a local event, but the New Times 10K run held in Phoenix each fall historically attracts a good-sized group of Rim country runners.


Some of those who have participated include former PHS basketball coach Jim Quinlan, track and field coach Chuck Hardt, former Lady Horn basketball coach Tim Fruth, his wife Carolyn and many, many Payson High athletes.


Some enter to see how fast they can cover the 6.2-mile course. Others participate for sheer fun and the self-satisfaction of having competed and finished.


When taken in fun as a weekend treat away from the rigors of the workplace, the New Times is a hoot.


This year, it will be held Nov. 14 in downtown Phoenix. The citizens' 10K begins at 9:30 a.m., but there are also several other events including a 5K walk, 5K stroller stroll, wheelchair athletes' event, a kids' dash and an invited athletes 10K which will draw some of the best runners in the world.


The last time I participated, in 1997, the race began and ended near Margaret T. Hance Deck Park. Since then, the 10K course has changed and the new course promises to be more exciting; the 5K and 10 K runners will finish inside Bank One Ballpark through the east side bullpen.


As entrants cross the finish line in center field, their faces will light up the jumbo screen for awaiting family and friends to see.


The run is the poor man's way of finally getting to trot onto the Bank One field after watching so many Diamondback games from the cheap seats hundreds of feet above the playing surface.


If you've never celebrated the end of a New Times run, you've missed a king-sized party.


There's live entertainment on the ballpark field, a car giveaway, snacks, gifts and free commemorative race pictures.


Runners mill for hours through the dozens of vendors, sampling everything from free hot sauce on chips to yogurt. Some even partake of the post-race massages offered for free.


In the Phoenix Civic Plaza the night before the race, participants are invited to attend a free pasta dinner which also features live entertainment.


The course itself also represents a huge thrill in that it loops around Patriots Square Park passing such historic landmarks as the Arizona Center, Herberger Theater, St. Mary's Basilica and the Civic Plaza.


Along the course, bands rock their favorite tunes, radio stations pipe music through the airways, spectators cheer your efforts, and a few years ago exotic belly dancers wiggled and gyrated to the cheers of the hearty group of passing runners.


No word yet if the belly dancers will return.


Rim runners who want to drive to Phoenix Saturday evening to partake of the pasta dinner and avoid the traffic jams of race morning can stay at a downtown hotel at a discounted price.


A coupon can be found in the Official Instruction Book you'll receive once you register.


And for participating, your $15 entry fee will include a real cool commemorative race T-shirt.


The event is co-sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, which provides entry forms.

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