Habitat For Humanity Home Run 5k

Early morning exercise, post-race pancakes, small town camaraderie

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The Payson Area Habitat for Humanity Home Run 5K has become the most popular running event on the Rim Country sports scene.

It could become even more popular, especially among families, because of the addition of an inaugural Young Athletes Fun Run.

The children's run begins at 9 a.m. May 13, one hour after the start of the Sixth Annual PAHH 5K.

The race distance for children up to 6 years of age is a quarter mile. For 7- and 8-year-olds, it's a half-mile, and for 9- and 10-year-olds, the distance is one mile.

The entry fee for the fun run is $5 if completed before today's deadline. After today, May 5, the fee increases to $10.

For the 5K, the entry fee until today, is $15. Afterward, it is $20. The entry fee includes a T-shirt and post race pancake breakfast.

On race day, a preregistration and T-shirt pick-up will be held from 6:30 to 7:45 a.m. at the large ramada in Rumsey Park.

The T-shirts will feature a drawing done by Julia Randall Elementary School fourth-grader Eber Valenzuela who won a contest sponsored by PAHH.

JRE teacher Wayne Gorry will serve as race director of the fun run. Several of his students are expected to enter.

In the adult run, cash awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers. First place finishers receive $100, runners-up will be awarded $50 and third place is worth $25.

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Travis Bix and Cameron Romance battle it out at the finish line of the PAHH 5K.

Participants will compete in one of 10 age/sex divisions.

The course has changed slightly from last year when it was held near Rumsey Park rather than at Green Valley, as in previous years.

The starting line will be in the Payson library parking lot.

The course then travels on North McLane to Longhorn Road and onto Payson Parkway. After making a loop in a residential area, the race wraps up at a finish line near the Rumsey large ramada.

In 2005, the startling line was on Payson Parkway at the foot of a steep uphill incline. That start had some runners grumbling that such an incline shouldn't be at the beginning of a course.

The start, however, didn't deter 80-year-old Ray Kinsman's enthusiasm for the race.

The senior traversed the course using a philosophy of changing speeds as he approached obstacles.

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The field of runners for the PAHH 5K is usually the largest of any of the annual runs held in the Rim Country.

"I'd run a while, then walk," he said.

Kinsman said he will participate again this year.

Along with Kinsman, the event is expected to draw a large crowd eager for a healthy dose of morning exercise, a post-race breakfast and small-town camaraderie.

Another big draw of the event is that participation benefits PAHH and its mission to build affordable housing for deserving families.

For an entry form into the race see page 3C of the Payson Roundup print edition.

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