Weekend forecast good for farming, bad for racing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 7, 2000

The rain forecast for this weekend is good news, but it could hinder the turnout for Saturday’s 12th annual Over the River Run.

The race, which includes a 5-mile run, 5-mile walk and 1-mile fun run, begins at the foot of the Old Mississppi River Bridge at 8 a.m., rain or shine, with raceday registration starting at 6:30. Pre-registered runners and walkers can pick up their race packets at the Athlete’s Foot in Pemberton Square Mall tonight and Friday, 6-8 p.m.

Race chairman Debbie Brumitt said approximately 500 people have pre-registered, and with raceday registrations, the field should approach 800. The weather may hold that number down, however.

In 1998, when rain, wind and a chilly morning made for a miserable morning, only about 300 of 600 pre-registered runners competed and the number of raceday registrations was low.

“With Ole Miss playing against Auburn up in Oxford and the weather being as hot as its been, I’m just not sure,” Brumitt said.

Whoever does show up will receive one of the race’s new goodies, a long sleeve “windshirt.” Previously, a cotton T-Shirt had been given to race participants.

“They’re really nice. They’re what all the runners are wearing now,” Brumitt said. “We had gotten some information from the Mississippi Track Club on them, and they encouraged us to change if it was cost-effective.”

All of last year’s men’s and women’s division winners in the run and walk will return to defend their titles.

Jackson’s Marion Geissinger, a four-time winner and two-time defending champion in the women’s division of the run, will try for her third straight title. Greenville’s Kevin Phillips, who won last year in 26 minutes, 37 seconds, will try to repeat.

In the walk, Barbara Duplichain, a 10-time OTR winner from Richland, will try to continue her dominance in the women’s division while Vicksburg’s Mike Renfroe defends his men’s walk title.

All proceeds from the race benefit the Area 10 Special Olympics, Haven House and the Child Abuse Prevention Center.

“We’ve got our usual sponsors and it’s a great day, great event and we want everybody to come out,” Brumitt said.