COVINGTON -- Runners, take your mark. Registration is under way for the 27th annual running of the Covington Police Department's Fuzz Run, one of Covington's most popular events.
The race is scheduled for Sept. 11, with the 1-mile fun run starting at 8 a.m. and the 5K Fuzz Run at 8:30 p.m. Registration postmarked by Aug. 31 is $17; race day registration is $20.
Covington Police Lt. Paul Dailey, who is in his second year of directing the event, said he expects the turnout this year to be similar to past years, with anywhere from 2,300 to 2,500 runners taking part. The number of spectators swells the crowd that gathers for the event to 4,000 to 5,000 people, he said.
Proceeds from the race benefit the Police Who Care fund, a charitable organization that provides assistance to local families in need.
New to the race this year will be a Dri-Fit short-sleeved race shirt, with priority going to all runners who preregister.
"We'll be taking opinions from runners and see what they think about the shirt," Dailey said. "A lot of the races around the country are going to the moisture-wicking shirt, so we thought we'd try it."
The Fuzz Run T-shirt has a reputation as being one of the most sought-after road race T-shirts.
"We found last year that one (runner) actually had every Fuzz Run T-shirt from the start of the race," Dailey said. "That's one of the things that people like about our race. We have a local T-shirt designer ... who designs all our T-shirts for us. He's done a lot of the artwork, not only for our Fuzz Run, but our DARE program, too."
Another new feature of the race will be music provided at the 2-mile mark to give runners an extra boost for the final mile of the race. Dailey said the 2-mile mark is near the Covington Family YMCA on Newton Drive.
Some elements of the race will be familiar from years past. Once again sponsors will be on hand to give out water, food, and promotional items.
"From what I've heard over the years, a lot of people enjoy bringing their families out here because there are a lot of things to do," Dailey said. "They don't have to worry about bringing any money because the vendors who are out here promoting their businesses provide everything for free."
Sponsorships are available at the Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels. Sponsors already signed on include General Mills, BB&T, Johnny's Pizza, Kroger, Dr. Leonard, Chick-fil-A, Greg Pope Law Firm, United Bank, Springfield Baptist, SKC, and Pinnacle Bank, among others.
In addition, more than 100 door prizes will be given out after the race.
Activities associated with the race include Friday's Pre-Race Expo and package pickup, sponsored by the Newton County Chamber of Commerce. The expo will be held at the Conyers Street Gym, across from the police station, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, Covington First United Methodist Church will host a spaghetti lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 10. Donations will be accepted and proceeds will benefit the Police Who Care Fund. On Sept. 11, the church will host a 9/11 Service of Remembrance at 10:30 a.m. in the main sanctuary. Runners are invited to attend in their running attire. Worship services to honor local civil servants and military will be held at 8:30 and 11 a.m. that day, as well as an honorary breakfast from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the main fellowship hall.