Those who participate in the annual Payson Area Habitat for Humanity 5K Walk/Run usually do so knowing they are in for a special treat.
Not only is the morning full of fun and good old-fashioned exercise, it's a way for Rim country residents to give something back to the community.
All of the money earned at the annual race and breakfast helps the PAHH accomplish its mission of providing decent, affordable and healthy houses to Payson-area low and moderate-income residents.
This year's festivities begin at 6:30 a.m. May 10, at Green Valley Park with a pre-registration period for the 3.1-mile walk/race. The starting gun for the event will be fired at 8 a.m. Runners and walkers will then be sent scurrying along the course that begins and ends in Green Valley Park. Although the course has some elevation changes, there are no rugged hills to climb.
Last year, the benefit drew 228 entrants.
The overall male winner in 2002, David Helwig, is scheduled to return this year to defend his crown.
Immediately after the race, the Payson Knights of Columbus will serve a pancake breakfast to all of the race participants. Non-participants can purchase breakfast tickets for $3 (adults) and $1 (children).
Almost as quickly as the last runner/walker crosses the finish line, race organizers will host an awards ceremony near the GVP veterans' memorial.
Other on-going activities during the morning will be face painting, a Payson Humane Society booth where animals may be adopted and live music by Trouble in Paradise featuring Chuck and Barbara Case. Also, there will be games for the younger set and booths hosted by Payson Athletic Club owner Keven Rush and Massage or Knot.
The fee for the race is $15 if paid before May 9. On race day, the fee is $18. The fees include a souvenir T-shirt and the breakfast.
Registrations forms are available at the Payson Roundup, Payson Athletic Club, Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and the PAHH offices located at 1013 S. Goodfellow.
Longtime local senior softball player Dave Crowell has been named to the United States Senior Softball National Advisory Board.
The board is made up of 18 members from around the United States. As part of his first duties in his new post, Crowell attended a three-day national seminar in Dallas, Texas. Represented at the summit were 16 national softball associations.
The National Advisory Board is responsible for making rules involving playing conditions, safety issues, tournament play and equipment that may be used in senior play.
The next national summit will be January, 2004 in Florida.
Rotary meet on tap
Track and field fans will want to mark April 26 on their sports calendars as the day Payson High School plays host to one of the biggest freshman and sophomore invitational meets in Arizona. Sponsored by the local Rotary clubs, the meet is slated to draw 15 schools from around the state. The competition is unique in that it features coed teams and events fans might not see during the course of a regular prep meet.
Competition begins at 10 a.m. and will continue most of the day. There is no admission charge.