by Aaron Garcia
The inaugural Big South 5K Road Race to benefit middle school athletic programs in Mecklenburg and Union counties will be held Saturday, Oct. 23.
The race, hosted by the Big South Conference, will start and finish in Blakeney Shopping Center, at the corner of Ardrey Kell and Rea roads. All participants will have the option of selecting a middle school booster club to receive a portion of their registration fees.
More than 6,000 area students play middle school sports. But recent budget cuts for the 2010-11 school year prompted Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to implement a “pay for play” model. The Big South 5K, officials from the Charlotte-based college athletic conference said, will provide support for students who cannot afford to pay athletic fees.
A portion of the event’s proceeds also will be used to create scholarships for Big South Conference athletes.
The first 200 to register for the race will receive a $10 gift card from Play it Again Sports. All participants who register by Friday, Oct. 15, are guaranteed a race T-shirt. Anyone unable to participate but still wants to support the race may register as a “phantom runner” and still receive a T-shirt.
Entry fees are $20 before Oct. 15; after that, the fee is $25. To register, visit BigSouthSports.com or QueenCityTiming.com.