Busy day expected for Gum Tree 10K

TUPELO – The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau is the place to be today for those planning to compete in Saturday’s AT&T/BancorpSouth Gum Tree 10K.
Between 1 and 6 p.m., runners who have registered on-line can pickup their race packets. Those who haven’t registered can do so during the same timeframe.
“We love race-day registration, but I think it’s in everybody’s best interest to pickup their packets and register early,” Gum Tree race director Andy Hughes said.
Hughes reports registration is about 50 entrants ahead of last year.
As of Thursday morning, 750 had registered. Last year, 533 signed up on race day and the day before.
Race-day registration opens at 7 a.m. and runs until everybody is signed in for the 8:30 a.m. start.
“I think we’re looking at between 1,300 and 1,400 signing up,” Hughes said. “Our race temps are going to be in the 50s and the rain is supposed to clear out of here.”
Julius Kosgei, last week’s Coca-Cola Classic 10K winner, has entered. The Kenyan covered the Corinth course in 31 minutes.
Corinth’s female winner, Candace Jacobs of Huntsville, was considering a later entry after saying on Saturday that it was unlikely she would run here. Her winning time was 36:50.
“Our men’s field is about 10 to 12 deep with runners who can break 31 minutes,” Hughes said.
One of those runners is Kenyan Joseph Negtich, who has a 28:23 10K best. The Gum Tree course record is 28:43.
Former Tupelo High and Mississippi State standout distance runner Robert Scribner has entered. He finished second last year.
Last year’s Gum Tree winner, Tyson David of Tuscaloosa, Ala., has not signed up to defend his title. However, the female overall winner, Ramilia Burangulova, has entered. The Russian native won in 35:37 last year.

Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593 or gene.phelps@journalinc.com.

Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal