Mount Airy’s Autumn Leaves Festival won’t be the only game in town this weekend — there’s also the 17th annual 5k on the Greenway scheduled Saturday to benefit underserved individuals and school projects.
The event, held each year during the festival, is not just for hard-core runners.
All those folks, plus walkers and strollers, are invited to participate in the multi-faceted gathering which will include the 5K (3.1-mile) run at 8 a.m. Saturday and a half-mile run at 8:45 a.m.
It is a joint venture involving Mount Airy Parks and Recreation, the Reeves Community Center Foundation and Mount Airy City Schools.
The Lovills Creek (Emily B. Taylor) portion of the Granite City Greenway is the site of the event, which is the oldest 5K run held in the city. It was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19 and resumed in 2021, drawing 220 participants.
“It is a popular race each year largely due to being held on a flat and fast course and the organizations that the proceeds will benefit,” city Parks and Recreation Director Peter Raymer explained.
Proceeds from the event are to be split between the Reeves Community Center Foundation and city schools.
The foundation plans to designate its share for scholarships to assist underserved youth and disabled adults who otherwise would not be able to participate in recreational activities.
Mount Airy City Schools uses a competition to allocate its proceeds from the 5k on the Greenway.
Everyone who registers for the race can “represent” a school in the city system and the campus with the highest number of participants will win earn money toward its goal.
These include an updated playground at Tharrington Primary; special projects at Jones Intermediate; field trips and experiential learning opportunities for students at Mount Airy Middle School; and, at Mount Airy High, additional outdoor seating for lunch and learning spaces for classes.
“This challenge by Mount Airy City Schools has motivated a lot of families to register for this event, get some exercise and help make a difference,” Raymer added.
There is still time to register for 5k on the Greenway, which can be done at https://5kotg.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=1710
The cost for the 5K up until Race Day is $38 for adults and $28 for youths under 18. That for the half-mile (under 10) fun run is $15.
Saturday’s starting line on the Emily B. Taylor section of the greenway is near the trail entrance behind Roses, a short distance west toward West Lebanon Street.
The 5K course includes some city streets along with the greenway.
More information about the event also is available at the It’s Your Race online site.