The town’s 10th Annual Freeze Your Gizzard 5K Cross Country Race will be held Saturday at Ida Lee Park. Both a 5K and 1-mile fun run are scheduled.
In the past, the event has attracted more than 600 participants and this year shouldn’t be any different, according to Rachael Goodwin, special events supervisor.
“This is our 10th anniversary so we are looking to have a really strong attendance,” Goodwin said. “I would expect between 800 and 900 runners.”
This year’s race will start and finish at the gazebo in the front field of Ida Lee Park. The race will continue through a scenic cross-country course across 138 acres.
“It is a cross-country course, which means it is not flat,” Goodwin advised. “There are some steep hills, there’s a small creek crossing and it will be on trails, it will be on some pavement, but mostly grass and established trails within the park. So it is definitely an off-road course.”
Despite the course layout, Goodwin said it shouldn’t take long to finish. Last year, the top male finished the race in 16 minutes and 30 seconds. The top female finished in 21 minutes and 14 seconds.
As in years past, prizes will be given out to this year’s first, second, and third place male and female winners of the 5K run for each age category, as well as top overall male and female runners.
Anyone who comes in turkey-themed costumes or any shirt from a previous Gizzard race will receive a special giveaway, Goodwin said, in honor of this year’s anniversary.
Participants are also reminded that the event is one of the largest fundraisers of the year for Loudoun Interfaith Relief. Not only does the local non-profit raise money through sponsorships but they also receive around 2,000 pounds of non-perishable items, to stock their shelves before the holiday season.
“We do encourage all participants to bring two canned goods,” Goodwin said. “If you want to donate more that’s always welcome too. “
Registration is still being accepted online or at the Ida Lee Park Recreation Center through Thursday. The cost to register for the 5K is $20 and $10 for the mile run. After Thursday, runners must register beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday. Race fees will be $25 for the 5K and $15 for the mile. Race time is at 9 a.m.