The Payson Area Habitat for Humanity's Home Run 5K Walk/Run has been a fixture in the community for several years, and Marc Kaplan and his dog, Cee Cee have been a part of it.
This year, Kaplan said, "I am urging all my friends in the Payson area, everyone involved in the Humane Society and its auxiliary, everyone who is part of Paws in Park and all other animal lovers to get out and walk with me and Cee Cee."
The PAHH Home Run is Saturday, May 10 at Green Valley Park. The main sponsors of the event are the Mazatzal Casino and the Tonto Apache Tribe.
"It's for a great cause, the PAHH. It's also great exercise for you and your dog. Don't forget your leash and a plastic bag," Kaplan said.
Last year, with 228 entrants, he saw only a few with dogs. "I thought there'd be dozens and dozens," Kaplan said.
He said people participate in the 5K walk/run for different reasons: the prizes, the walk, the camaraderie.
Why does he participate? Kaplan said, "The people and being part of a group effort for a good cause."
There is no pressure to race, everyone can go at their own speed. There is water available all around the course. He recommends wearing comfortable shoes and socks, plus something for shade.
Registration for the 5K walk/run is going on now. It costs $15 if registration is submitted by May 9 to the Payson Athletic Club, 400 E. Highway. 260, or PAHH, 1013 S. Goodfellow Road. The day of the event the registration is $18.
Registration is from 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m., Saturday, May 10, pre-registered participants will also pick up their T-shirts and race numbers between 6:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. The 5K begins at 8 a.m., with a free breakfast for participants from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., provided by the Payson Knights of Columbus. Tickets for the breakfast for non-participants are available for $3 for adults and $1 for children.
"You will meet a lot of nice people. A lot of volunteers make this possible and deserve special recognition for their efforts Take a few minutes to look at all the volunteers. It's quite organized and a lot of unselfish people are donating their time for PAHH," Kaplan said.
One thing Kaplan offers some caution on, "If your dog is older, respect that and don't push the dog too hard. Cee Cee is almost 13 and I feel her slowing down and I am observant of that."
In addition to the 5K and breakfast, there will be live music by Trouble in Paradise, featuring Barbara and Chuck Case; face painting; a Payson Humane Society booth where animals may be adopted; games for youngsters; and booths hosted by Payson Athletic Club owner Keven Rush and Massage or Knot.
The 5K starts at Green Valley Parkway and Summit Street, goes up Green Valley Parkway to Country Club Drive then up and back Country Club, turning onto the lake-side sidewalk, around the park and back to the starting point. It is a total of 3.1 miles and has some elevation changes, but no rugged hills to climb.
For more information, call 474-0330.
Name: Marc Kaplan and Cee Cee
Occupation: Director of Marketing
Employer: Mazatzal Casino
Age: pushing something, Cee Cee is 12
Birthplace: Omaha, Neb.; Cee Cee, Santa Fe, N.M.
Family: Mother in Las Vegas, Nev.; brothers in Omaha, Neb.; Cleveland, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nev.
Personal Motto: I have always believed in the Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated.
Inspiration: The longer you live the more you learn and you are never too old to learn and never too old to make mistakes.
Greatest feat: In 1981, I took a self-sponsored trip around the country in a strange-looking three-wheel vehicle with my dog at the time, Casey the Wonder Dog, who has since died. The trip was to raise awareness of the warning signs of cancer. I did it because several friends and family had died of the disease. Between the vehicle and the dog performing tricks, there was a lot of media attention.
My favorite hobby or leisure activity is walking and hiking with Cee Cee.
The three words that describe me best are ... energetic, hard-working, corny.
I don't want to brag but I spent a year, from July 1970 until July 1971, in Vietnam working for a pirate radio station and spent my free time talking to servicemen and bringing them some happiness through the music and dedications in the worst time of their lives. I saw too much I didn't want to see at medic stations and in hospitals.
The people in history I'd most like to meet are Mickey Mantle and Johnny Carson.
Dream vacation spot: A cruise ship in the Mediterranean seeing the Greek Islands.
Why Payson? I worked here before, at the casino for two years, then I tried something else. It didn't work out and I was extremely happy and grateful to be back at the casino and Payson because I really missed the people and activities associated with the work and the community.