By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A promising weekend forecast is good news for the organizers of Saturday’s 36th Gum Tree 10k race.
“We’ve been paying attention, hoping that the long-term forecast would improve,” race director Andy Hughes said Wednesday.
“The turnout we get often depends a lot on how good a day it’s going to be.”
Registration has been running ahead of last year’s pace, with about 800 already signed up for the 10k and the affiliated 2k fun run/walk.
“I’d expect another 400 or 500 on Friday and Saturday, so 1,300 to 1,400 total is not unreasonable,” Hughes said.
The 10k entry fee is $20 – $25 on race day. The 2k entry fee is $10.
“We don’t care if you run, walk, jog or crawl – the main thing is to participate,” Hughes said. “We’ll keep the finish line open until the last person finishes. And the last one will get a medal just like the first one who finishes.”
With all race expenses already covered, all additional turnout will send dollars directly to Tupelo’s Habitat for Humanity efforts.
“Every additional entry is $20 more for Habitat,” Hughes said. “If we get 500 more, that’ll be $10,000 more for them.”
As it did last year, the 10k race will begin at 206 Main St. and will finish in front of Fairpark.
Online registration has closed. Hughes’ office (109B S. Spring St.) is open for registration today, and on Friday at the Tupelo CVB office from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. along with packet pickup for those who have preregistered.
Race day registration is available at the Tupelo Running Club tent from 7 to 8 a.m. Saturday.