Chill in the Hills Saturday

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 16, 2009

Mother nature is about to put the “chill” in the Chill in the Hills.

Temperatures are forecast to be near freezing when the first Chill in the Hills 10K run and 5K racewalk begins at 8:30 Saturday morning on Levee Street. It will plenty of runners and walkers bundle up, but hasn’t slowed the enthusiasm for Vicksburg’s newest race.

Dustin Blount, program director for the Vicksburg YMCA, which is putting on the race, said about 180 runners and walkers had registered as of Thursday. He expects the final number to be between 200 and 300, which is what race organizers had been hoping for.

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“I think for the first year, 200 to 300 is a very good year,” Blount said.

Blount also didn’t expect the cold weather to hurt raceday registration. Late-arriving runner and walkers can register at the start-finish line at the Horizon Casino parking lot on Levee Street from 7 to 8 a.m. Saturday. The entry fee is $25 for the 10K and 5K, or $15 for the 1-mile fun run.

“I don’t think it’s going to hurt us. It’s going to be chilly, which fits the name of the race,” Blount said, adding that there had been no talk of starting the race later in the morning when temperatures will be warmer. The high for Saturday is forecast to be around 50 degrees. “We haven’t even discussed it. Most runners are pretty hardcore and they’ll be ready to go.”

The 10K run will begin at 8:30, the 5K racewalk at 8:35, and both will wind through downtown Vicksburg. The fun run will begin after the other two races have ended and go along Levee Street. Blount asked residents along the race route to come out and support runners, but also to watch out for them.

“We want people in the community to come out, but we’d also like to remind them to watch out for the runners and drive safely if they’re on the course between 8:30 and 10:30,” Blount said.


Contact Ernest Bowker at