Runner’s lace up your shoes, stretch your limbs and head to the starting line, because Global Running Day is just around the corner.
Global Running Day is a worldwide celebration that encourages everyone to become active through movement, whether it be just running a lap around the block or taking your dog for a walk.
As part of the celebration, Fleet Feet Knoxville, local retail leader specializing in footwear and apparel for runners, joggers and walkers, will host its third annual nationally coordinated running event, “The Big Run.” It will host three certified 5k heats taking place at 6:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m at the Cove on Northshore Drive.
Cheryl Hadian, co-owner of Fleet Feet Knoxville, who was at last year’s event at the Cove said that her husband and co-owner of the store Shahin Hadia came up with the idea to have three heats so everyone could participate.
“Most of the Fleet Feet, really just have one race, but he’s (Shahin Hadian) decided because it’s National Run Day, so he wanted there to be the opportunity that everybody no matter what their schedule is has the opportunity to run,” Hadian said. “ I like that part about it, that it’s really to celebrate the opportunity for everybody to get out and celebrate running.”
The Big Run race entry fee is $20 and is open for runners of all ages, levels and abilities according to a news release by Fleet Feet. Registration for the event is currently open on the Fleet Feet Knoxville website and will extend throughout June 5. Fleet Feet Knoxville is expecting 200 people according to Alana Phillips, marketing manager of Fleet Feet Knoxville.
The race will be timed, with the recorded times being sent to a national leaderboard to determine the overall fastest race times of the day nationwide. There will be national and local prizes given out, not only to those who place in the top, but also for those who have the most average time as well.
The fastest woman and man runner across the states will receive a $500 prize, whoever finishes in the exact middle of all the finishers in the country in their gender will receive a $500 prize as well and the fastest male or female within their age group will receive $100. The age groups include 14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and upwards of 70 years of age.
Local prizes include a $40 Fleet Feet gift certificate for the fastest man and woman, and a first, second and third place prize of $20, $15 and $10 Fleet Feet gift certificate respectively within the age groups. Each participant will also receive a medal and t-shirt when they cross the finish line.
The course will start on the track of the Cove which is 0.7 miles, extend down Northshore on the greenway towards the fishing bridge past the marina, where runners will then loop back to the park to do another lap around the park to get the 3.1 miles.
Phillips said that The Big Run was also a great way to invite people who are interested in running to start running since it’s an easy track.
“It’s also an opportunity for us to invite people who maybe haven’t ever run before to come and get started,” Phillips said. “This is a great starter 5k to invite customers, so as people are coming in and maybe they currently aren’t running, maybe they’re interested in getting started, this gives us an opportunity to have something to offer them.”
The event is sponsored nationally by Brooks and Nuun, and locally by Knoxville County Parks and Rec and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, which will receive the race proceeds to help assist in the building and maintaining the bike/hike trails in Concord Park area.
Once runners finish the race, there will be a refreshment stand for everyone to stop by and grab drinks to replenish their electrolytes and fresh fruit.
“It’s not about winning or anything like that,” Nina McClintock, operations manager for Fleet Feet Knoxville, said. “It’s just everybody coming together.”