By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: April 12, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.
PRINCE GEORGE – The sounds of over 100 pairs of sneakers and running shoes pounding the pavement and trails of the Appomattox River Regional Park were unmistakable as Prince George became a runner’s paradise Saturday for the fourth annual Appomattox River Regional 5K Trail Run.
Despite the somewhat wet conditions, according to organizers, nearly 150 people registered for last Saturday’s five-kilometer, or just a hair over three-mile, race in Prince George, which made its way through the Appomattox River Regional Park and features more opportunities to see scenic parts of the park and the Appomattox River.
The rain held off enough for runners to enjoy much of the Appomattox River Regional Park trails as part of the annual 5K event held over the weekend. According to officials, over 100 runners were signed up for last weekend’s race. (Fred Stein)
Giving runners an opportunity to see more of nature was one of the reasons the race course was adjusted slightly for this year’s event, Prince George Parks and Recreation Director Keith Rotzoll said.
“We changed the course this year so a lot more of the event was actually in the park instead of on the road and people found this year’s course very challenging, but a very good and very clear trail,” he said.
The race comes together each year thanks to a partnership with the county’s parks and recreation department, Riverside Regional Jail, and the Friends of the Lower Appomattox River organization. When asked, Rotzoll said the event couldn’t happen without the strong partnerships they have with the jail and FOLAR.
“Riverside Regional Jail has been integral in keeping the park’s maintenance up,” he said. “They help clear the trails before the event, they set up the tent and the tables. FOLAR, through their network, really helped promote the event and they had a number of volunteers help on the day of the event. They were out on the course trying to keep people going in the right direction.”
Smiles weren’t hard to come by across the roughly three-mile course during last week’s Appomattox River Regional 5K Trail Run as the runners crossed the finish line after the scenic run through the park. (Fred Stein)
He added that he was pleased that this event can help provide another avenue for people in Prince George and beyond to stay healthy.
“People are so varied and have so many ways they would like to enjoy their free time, to be able to have them get out for this event and to get out and see a park they may not have seen before and that, in turn, allows them to see how beautiful it is and it might help them come back out and see it again and spread the word about it,” Rotzoll said.
As this year’s 5K wraps up, he said they will be holding meetings in the near future to gear up for next year’s race, noting all profits and donations from the race are donated to the Special Olympics and FOLAR.