KENNESAW — The Town Center community is gearing up for its second annual Noonday Shanty 5K and 10K next Saturday along the Noonday Creek Trail in Kennesaw.
The Noonday Creek Trail, which is located near the Town Center at Cobb mall, spans seven miles and boasts hidden wetlands, scenic views, public art and bird habitats.
“It’s one of our hidden gems," said Jennifer Hogan, director of community for the Town Center Community. "It’s a wonderful trail and goes through very scenic areas of Town Center. When you’re on that trail, you would have no idea you’re in the middle of the Town Center area where it’s very hustle and bustle.”
Managed by Orion Racing, the Noonday Shanty 5K and 10K is the first USA Track and Field-certified race to take place on the Noonday Creek Trail.
The race serves as a qualifier for the AJC Peachtree Road Race and features a mostly flat 5K and 10K course. Both routes wind through the Noonday Creek Trail, Fifth Third Bank Stadium, Cobb International Airport and Aviation Park.
After feedback from participants last year, Hogan said race coordinators updated the 10K course so runners can avoid a steady up-hill climb before the finish line.
“Last year really exceeded our expectations," Hogan said. "We had a total of 428 runners last year and this year our goal is to get closer to the 750 mark."
The 10K race will kick off at 7:45 a.m. followed by the 5K race which will begin at 8 a.m.
After the races conclude, runners can enjoy a live DJ, entertainment and free beer for participants over 21. All participants will receive a free T-shirt and finisher medal.
Hogan said the mission behind creating the event was to implement programming and activation to public spaces in Town Center which is an unincorporated district of Cobb County.
All proceeds from the Noonday Shanty 5K and 10K will go toward the Town Center Community's mission to improve the district's programming, infrastructure and quality-of-life.
The Town Center Community is comprised of the Town Center Community Improvement District and its nonprofit partner, the Town Center Community Alliance.
Participants can register online at www.towncentercid.com/noonday-shanty to run or walk the 5K and 10K until midnight March 22. Walkers and runners can also sign up the day of the race or at packet pickup. Participants of all skill levels are welcome to join.
Registered runners can pick up their race numbers and T-shirts March 23 from 4 to 8 p.m. at REI Kennesaw, 740 Barrett Parkway Suite 450 in Kennesaw.
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