Registration has kicked off for those ground pounders determined to test their speed, endurance and will power in the Rim Country Challenge, Payson's annual half marathon and 5K.
This year's race will be Saturday, Oct. 4 and feature a relay team option, as well as a young athletes' fun run.
"This event provides an opportunity for Arizonans to do something fun and healthy in the great outdoors during one of the most beautiful times of year in the Rim Country," said Ross Hage, board member of the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity. "What's more, it benefits a terrific cause -- providing affordable housing for those in need."
Proceeds from the event benefit PAHH.
All races start and finish at Payson's scenic Green Valley Park. The half marathon and relay begins at 8 a.m., the 5K begins at 8:15 a.m. and the young athletes' fun run begins at 9 a.m.
Officials say, the half marathon course is hilly and provides a challenging route throughout scenic areas of Payson.
At last year's run, Scott Griffin of Leadville, Colo. took the gold in 1:42, overcoming runner-up Karen Doonmoyer on the downside of Airport Hill.
The 5K course is less difficult and weaves throughout Payson neighborhoods.
In 2007,Chris Standage won in 19:39. Payson High School cross-country team member David Knauer was second. Among the women 5K entries, Madelyn Champlin claimed first in 23:02.
This year, awards will again be given to the first overall male and female finishers of the half marathon and 5K.
Awards will also be given to the first three male and female finishers in each age division and certificates will be given to all young athlete participants.
Registration is open through Sept. 26, with late registration available from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. on race day.
Entry fees are $40 for the half marathon, $20 for the 5K, $120 per team for the relay teams and $10 for the young athletes' fun run for those that register by Sept. 26.
For more race information and to register go to: www.rimcountrychallenge.com.
Cats to claw
The Payson Cougars senior slow-pitch softball team is looking for players 60 years of age and older.
The team practices at 9 a.m., Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Rumsey II field.
"All skill levels are welcome," team member Jay Larson said. "Come out and play and get some exercise."
For more information, call Larson at (928) 970-1381.