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Register Early for RAP River Run to Get the Goods

Runners who sign up this month for the June 9 race receive a personalized runner's bib and a discount on the registration fee, along with other goodies.

Avid or casual runners have at least a baker’s dozen 5K races in Florida to pick from during the second weekend in June, but sponsors of the RAP River Run in New Port Richey are sweetening the deal for those who register by May 1.

In addition to the goodie bag, custom T-shirt and finisher’s medal all runners get, those who register during April also will have their numbered runner’s bib personalized, said Patricia Patterson, marketing director for the event.

The entry fee for runners registering before May 1 is $20. After that it is $25 for the 5K run.

Registration will continue until the morning of the June 9 run that starts at 7:30 a.m. There is a 1-mile fun run around Orange Lake that starts at 8:30 a.m.

Registration for the fun run is $10 before May 1 and $15 from May 2 until race day.

The RAP River Run is growing in popularity from 300 participants its first year to 1,200 last year, Patterson said, adding organizers hope to draw 2,000 this year. Walkers are also encouraged.

The race is held in Sims Park and follows a scenic and shaded route along the Pithlachascotee River, Patterson said.

Also, there are team events for teams of at least five runners with categories including running clubs and fitness centers, government, services clubs, businesses, schools, health care, insurance and weight loss centers and simply friends and families.

There will be additional awards for teams with the most members older than 50 or younger than 25 and for the team with the most registered members.

The top five individual finishers in each age group will receive an award.

You can find registration forms and information at http://www.rapriverrun.com/index.html and either register on line or by printing and mailing the form with the entry fee.

The race benefits the Runaway Alternatives Project House in New Port Richey that provides a shelter for children 10 to 17 years old who need a temporary place to live for any reason. It also houses youngsters and teens who need an emergency shelter because of abuse or neglect. They can stay up to 14 days.

It is operated by Youth and Family Alternatives, Inc. and offers counseling, shelter and services at no charge.

“The race benefits a cause in New Port Richey and helps those who have no place else to go,” Patterson said.

All money raised through the race after expenses goes to the RAP house and in its four years, the race has raised $300,000, she said.

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