Get your sneakers ready: Rotary will host first Purple Pinkie Peanut Run Oct. 5

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

Sometimes ideas that start out as personal goals mushroom into bigger ideas that can benefit a community.

That’s what happened when Williston native and Rotarian Justin Head decided he wanted to run a 5K race.

About four months ago, Head set a goal, downloaded an iPhone app called Couch to 5K (C25K) and began an eight week program that, if completed, would have him physically ready to compete.

Those 30 minute, three times a week, workouts paid off and sure enough by the end of the eight weeks he was running 3.1 miles and ready to compete. The only problem? There wasn’t a 5K race around.

Shortly after that, during a Williston Rotary Club meeting, members were brainstorming ideas to grow the membership and promote the upcoming Peanut Festival.

That’s when Head and fellow Rotarian Chris Cowart threw out the idea of a 5K race to coincide with the annual Williston event.

The Purple Pinkie Peanut Run will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 right before the Peanut Festival  kicks off.

Pre-registration is under way and will continue through Sept. 20. After that date runners will still be able to race, but there is no guarantee of a commemorative T-shirt.

“This will be something positive for the community,” Head said, “and some proceeds from the race will go toward Rotary International’s Purple Pinkie Program that is dedicated to the eradication of polio in the three countries in the world where it exists.

“Other proceeds will help with our education projects including The Dictionary Project and The Black Stallion, a literacy program for fourth graders.”

Head pointed out this is no a highly competitive event. “It’s about having fun,” he said.

Four prizes will be given at the end of the race: fastest male, fastest female, oldest entrant and youngest entrant.

Entry fee is $25 through Sept. 20 and $30 after. The race will begin at the north end of Heritage Park, Head said, and aid and water stations will be available. Register at www.active.com

Not up to the 3.1 miles? You can also walk/run in the one mile event, he said.

“Our goal is 100 runners,” Head said.

He can already count on one–himself.