Dash to the starting line is on

Runners who have registered up to this point have been guaranteed a T-shirt, but this late in the game orders are no longer being taken. Instead, organizers have dropped the registration fee.

There will be plenty happening for non-runners, as well. The Bethlehem Food Pantry will be set up in the Middle School gymnasium to take donations. In addition to canned food items, the pantry is always in need of toiletries, coffee and tea, condiments and laundry detergents.

After the race, coffee, tea and the famous post-race vegetarian soup will be available. Awards will be handed out in age categories.

Once again, kids 12 and under will be able to participate in the Spotlight on Youth Race in 1/4-, 1/2-, and 1-mile lengths. Registration for these races is day-of-race only, from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. in the middle school gym, with the races starting to step off at 10 a.m. Around 200 kids participated last year, so an early registration is advisable.

The Youth Race registration fee is $2. Instead of the traditional T-shirt, kids will instead receive a backpack that looks like a shirt. That should not only be more useful, said Adams, but will ensure kids don't get stuck with a T-shirt that's not their size.

"What would happen is a little kid would come up, and we're already out of small T-shits, and they're stuck with this monster shirt they can't wear," Adams said.

Participants for both races will likely come from all over the area. Alyssa Lotmore, a social worker at Albany Preparatory Charter School, will be bringing a busload of kids from the school's newly-formed running club down to the race. The club was made possible largely through a grant from the HMRRC's Just Run program, which helps to introduce inner city youth to running.

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