INWOOD – This time of year, runners and animal lovers alike look forward to South Berkeley Christmas Parade 5K Run/Walk, which has raised some $9,000 for the Berkeley County Humane Society.
This year’s run/walk happens Sunday at Musselman High School in Inwood. The race begins at 2 p.m., just before the 18th annual South Berkeley Christmas Parade.
Proceeds from the event go to the Berkeley County Humane Society, which uses the funds for its spay/neuter program. Since 2010, the program has treated more than 1,200 dogs and cats in the Panhandle.
Mark and Aimee Peters organize the race and use their business, the Pizza Oven eatery in Inwood, as race headquarters. Both are avid runners; Mark Peters qualified for next year’s Boston Marathon and Aimee Peters is a veteran of Freedom’s Run and dozens of other running events.
The course for the run/walk is mostly flat. Through much of the race, participants will pass by cheering spectators lined up to watch the parade, which starts immediately after the race’s conclusion.
The run has the feel of a community party, according to the Peters. Many who take part in the race dress as elves, wear Santa hats or run with their leashed pets, some of whom come in holiday costumes. “It’s just a lot of fun,” Aimee Peters said.
She said the top three finishers in each age group will get a medal and the chance to ride on a float in the parade. Participants also will take home a commemorative T-shirt and a registration pack filled with coupons from local restaurants and other goodies.
Through Friday, the cost to register for the run is $20. For those 12 and younger, the cost is $15 and members of the Shenandoah Valley Runners club pay $19.
Participants can pick up their runners’ packets and bib numbers from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday or Saturday at Pizza Oven or at the race site starting at 11 a.m. the day of the race.
Race participants may register now at the Peters’ restaurant at 4803 Gerrardstown Road (in the same plaza as Food Lion) or online under the “upcoming events” tab on the Humane Society’s site, berkeley.wvhumane.com.
It’s also possible to sign up at the high school starting at 11 a.m. on race day, although those who sign up later may not get a T-shirt or goody bag. Race-day registration is $25.
For more on the 5K, call 304-839-2053 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.