Weather window gives boost to Chill in the Hills

Published 10:07 am Thursday, January 14, 2016

There is rain in the forecast for Thursday night and early Friday. There might be more on the way Saturday afternoon.

In between is a little pocket of sunshine that should make Vicksburg’s runners squeal with delight.

The eighth annual Chill in the Hills 10K run and 5K racewalk is set for Saturday morning, with cool, sunny skies in the forecast that should be perfect for runners and walkers. Around 160 people have signed up already, race director Walter Frazier said, and good weather is expected to add another hundred or so to the total by the time the race begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

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“We feel pretty good about that (number). We typically will have 100 people register on Friday and Saturday,” Frazier said. “Our best races have been when the temperature at race time is in the 40s. People make that call on Friday afternoon whether they’re going to do it or not.”

Runners and walkers who have pre-registered can pick up their race packets at Guaranty Bank on Cherry Street Friday evening from 5 to 7 p.m., or before the race on Saturday morning. Those who have not yet registered can do so at the bank at those same times. The entry fee is $30 for the run or walk, or $20 for the children’s 1-mile fun run.

For those who are already registered, Martin’s at Midtown will have a special event on Friday night. The restaurant is a race sponsor, but Frazier said it’s also an example of an effort to get the city and downtown area more involved in the race.

Residents along the downtown route have purchased a number of signs for $10 showing their support for the race, Frazier said.

Guaranty Bank and its parking lot have served as the race’s staging area since Grace Christian Counseling took ownership of it in 2010, and other businesses have chipped in sponsorship money.

The Chill in the Hills serves as a fundraiser for Grace Christian Counseling. The course goes through Glenwood Circle, down Drummond Street, Cherry Street and First East Street.

Frazier said the next phase of growth for the Chill in the Hills is to hopefully turn the race into a festival or party atmosphere similar to the ones at the much bigger Run Thru History in March and the Over the River Run in October.

“We stepped it up getting the neighborhood involved. We’re trying to step it up a little bit more in terms of ambiance and entertainment,” Frazier said.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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