Hey all you running guys and gals, the spring running season i

Hey all you running guys and gals, the spring running season is upon us. If you plan on doing one or more of the races in the area, and you have not started training it’s time!

Through the middle of May, I have already seen entry forms for seven races. That’s seven races in the next nine weeks, and I know of two others for which I have not seen entry forms.

Here are the races I’ve seen entry forms:

– The spring season kicks off March 30 with a pair of races, the Pontotoc Ridge 5K and the Air Force ROTC 10K in Oxford.

The Ridge Run is on the Tupelo Running Club Race Series, starts at 9 a.m. with a $15 registration fee, and had what I considered one of the best T-shirts by an area race last season. The ROTC race has an 8 a.m. starting time and is $10, and $12 the day of the race.

– Though out of the Daily Journal circulation area, Columbus is an active North Mississippi town for running, and it has the next race. The Columbus Air Force Base Runway Race is April 6 at 7:30 a.m.

It is $10 through April 3, then $12 through race day. The race is like the name says, on the runway, worth doing at least once.

– April 13 finds one of the quality races in the area and perhaps the largest 5K in Mississippi, the Heart Run 5K sponsored by the North Mississippi Medical Center Wellness Center. It has a 9 a.m. starting time and is $12, $15 the day of the race.

Considering parking, facilities, and the chance to run a fast time, the Heart Run is a must-do race. This is on the TRC series.

– One of the older area races is set for April 20, the Railroad Run 10K in Amory. It has a 9 a.m. starting time, is $10 through April 15, $12 through the day of the race, is on the TRC series and is a flat 10K course.

Perhaps the best Northeast Mississippi arts and crafts festival is going on at the same time, too.

– Everything has already been said about the Gum Tree 10K, which is May 11 this year. Read the Daily Journal between now and then and find out more about Mississippi’s most highly rated road race.

– Now let’s check out the annual Independence Day 5K in Nettleton on May 18. If you notice, it’s about five weeks earlier this year, perhaps a good move to catch the carryover from the Gum Tree.

It has an 8 a.m. starting time, is $9 through May 17, $12 on race day, and is on the TRC series.

– Two races on the TRC series which I have not seen entry forms on are the Corinth Coca-Cola 10K May 4 and the Oxford Double-Decker 10K on April 27.

Folks, that’s a pretty good spring schedule right there, and I probably left out a couple races within driving distance of the area. And that does not include June, which usually includes Pratts’ Frog Level 5K and Booneville’s Father’s Day 5K.

If you like to jog for speed, exercise or fun, the next several weeks offer many varied and quality choices.

Running reminders

With all the spring road races, let’s not forget to support Northeast Mississippi’s high school runners during track season. In the next two weeks are two good meets, the Ole Miss Invitational in Oxford March 23 and the Tri-State Challenge in Tupelo March 30.

Also in my last column, I said I wanted to know about area runners that will be in the Boston Marathon on April 15. Jerry McGath informed me of four, but there are more of you out there.

Let me know.

David Wheeler writes a monthly running column for the Daily Journal.

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