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Fuzz Run set for Saturday

COVINGTON -- It's Fuzz Run time.

The popular 5K race and 1-mile fun run sponsored by the Covington Police Department will take place Saturday and so far, more than 1,400 runners have registered. Registration will remain open until the day of the race this year, said Officer Chip Shirah. Registration is $20 per runner. While online registration has closed, forms can be picked up at the Covington Police Department, located at 1143 Oak St.

The 1-mile fun run will begin at 8 a.m. at Conyers Street Gym, followed by the 5K at 8:30 a.m. The paved route runs through and around downtown Covington. Shirah said motorists should expect traffic delays until about 9:30 a.m.

Awards will be presented to the top three finishers in each age category and organizers are anxious to see if the course record will be broken again this year.

The course record was broken at last year's Fuzz Run in the men's division. The record of 14:40 was broken by Felix Kibdiywo, who ran 14:16. The women's record of 16:40 was matched again by the female who holds the record, Janet Cherobon.

Participants can pick up their race packets Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at a free health expo at Conyers Street Gym featuring numerous health providers and free cholesterol and other health screenings. A business expo will take place during and after the race Saturday and door prizes will be awarded during both events. Also on Saturday, free pizza will be provided by Johnny's Pizza and the first 1,000 racers will receive a surprise gift provided by an anonymous donor. The local business with the most participants will receive the Cotton Cup, an award named in honor of Police Chief Stacey Cotton.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Police Who Care Fund, an idea that initiated with retired officer Frank Hilton. The fund was created to support officers injured in the line of duty, but "It's never been used for that locally," Shirah said.

Instead the money has gone to local officers and their family members with medical expenses due to illness, families of officers killed in the line of duty throughout the state and various local non-profit organizations. The majority of funds stay in Newton, he said.