It’s time once again for the area’s longest continuously running 5K race, with the annual Gary Tillman Memorial Clocktower Road Race and 2-mile walk.
The event is set for Saturday, with the 5K beginning at 8 a.m. and the health walk shortly after at 8:05. With online registration already closed, race day registration for the event will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.
Pre- and post-race activities will be held at Heritage Park, 255 Jewell Frost Drive, behind the levee.
Event proceeds, as they have for the last 14 years, will benefit the Exchange Club Family Resource Center, 202 E. Third Ave. It’s the organization’s largest source of revenue each year.
This marks the 34th year of the event, now named for local businessman Gary Tillman who perished in a plane crash in 2005 that also claimed the life of his daughter Hannah and her friend Anna Kipp.
“We renamed the race the year after the crash,” Gail Johnson, one of the event’s organizers, said. “Gary Tillman was an Exchange Club member and was very passionate about the work of the Resource Center.”
Beginning on North Second Avenue in front of Barron Stadium, the race ends on top of the levee back in Heritage Park. The course cuts through downtown and includes a climb up Clocktower Hill in the second mile, and a circling of the base of Myrtle Hill in the third mile.
Those traveling downtown Saturday morning will need to be aware that the event could affect traffic at times.
5K runners will be chip timed, while the health walk is not considered competitive. The 5K course is certified by USA Track and Field.
Male and female winners will be named, including first place in overall, master and grand master categories.
The day of race registration fee for the 5K is set at $35, while the fee is $30 for the health walk.
Even those not interested in directly participating in the event are invited get out and support those who are.
“We want everybody to come out and support the participants,” Johnson said. “The center is such an amazing organization. If you’re not a runner, come out and walk, or come out and cheer people along the course. Be outside and enjoy the nice day.”