Online registration open for Yellow Jacket Challenge

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 1:53 pm on Friday, January 06, 2012

GREENVILLE — Right now there is snow and ice on the streets and trials. Not the best conditions for running outdoors.

Come April, hopefully, that will not be the case.

With the new year upon us many have resolutions to get into shape. A perfect way to help motivate is by training for the 5th annual Yellow Jacket Challenge. The Yellow Jacket Challenge will be held April 15 and is a 5K run and walk that raises money for community wellness education and programs.

Race director Penny Dora is excited to involved with the event for a second year.

“I am proud to serve as the race director for my second year. Working with the event sponsors and volunteers is a humbling experience,” Dora said. “They put their heart and soul into making this event a special day for our community to celebrate families, friendships and good health.”

Online registration is now open for the 5K run and one mile walk. Early registration costs $20 for the run and $10 for walkers before April 13. After that the cost is $25 for runners while the cost for walkers remains the same.

Entries received by April 13 are guaranteed T-shirts. Children ages fifth grade and younger can walk for free, but do not receive a T-shirt.

The course is USATF certified and endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. It is also a qualifying race for the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Run.

Last year’s event — held in 36 degree temperatures with snow, rain and windy conditions — had a total of 428 participants including 332 runners and 96 walkers. The record number of participants is 466.

“The year 2011 brought the worst weather in the four years of this event,” Dora said. “With a mix of hail, snow, rain, wind advisories and the low temperatures, we still had over 400 participants, the second highest year of participation.”

A goal for 2012 is to reach the 400 runner and 150 walker plateau.

“The Yellow Jacket Challenge is designed to be a family event, held on a Sunday afternoon, to allow families an opportunity to participate together,” Dora said. “We encourage young children and beginning runners to participate.”

Event proceeds go to the Education Foundation of Greenville.

“Proceeds from the Yellow Jacket Challenge are designated to the Education Foundation of Greenville,” Dora said. “These funds are used to promote wellness programs throughout Greenville Public Schools at all levels.”

Race day registration takes place from 12:30 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. The run and walk begin at 2 p.m. Fun runs, refreshments and awards will follow.

Yellow Jacket fun runs do not require registration and are free.

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