Newton County, get ready to run. In less than two weeks, thousands of people will take to the streets in the 25th annual Covington Police Department Fuzz Run on Sept. 13.
Already a quarter century old, the Fuzz Run is the biggest annual fundraising event thrown by the Covington Police Department, drawing a crowd of more than 2,500 runners and 1,400 spectators last year.
This year's Fuzz Run promises not to disappoint, with more than 30 sponsors signed on, including BB&T and the Chamber of Commerce, vendors, live music and a Naval Sea Cadet corps presenting the colors.
"A lot of people who are just runners, they put this one on their list," said CPD spokesperson and event host Det. Daniel Seals. "This is a race they don't miss. They really enjoy it."
The Fuzz Run route - which starts near the Conyers Street Gym, turns down Floyd Street to Newton Drive and winds through scenic parts of historic Covington - is the same as previous years and is a main selling point for runners, said Seals.
But with 16 age group categories, from 8 years-old and under to 75 and older, there's also a place for people of every age and just about every fitness level. A one-mile "Fun Run" will be held at 8 a.m., before the 5 kilometer run at 8:30 a.m., both of which can be walked.
The group with the most participants will win the Cotton Cup. Over 100 door prizes will also be handed out during the day.
Cash prizes go to the fastest overall runner, $175, anyone who beats a record, $125, and master and grand master winners, $125 and $75. The record for the fastest men's time is 14 minutes, 46 second, and the women's record is 17 minutes, 44 seconds.
The event raises an average of about $25,000 annually for the Police Who Care fund, which goes to assist officers who are in difficult situations and their families, said Seals.
"In the past, we've had some officers come down with pretty bad illnesses, such as cancer," he said. "This allows us to assist them with bills that may not be covered by insurance."
Pre-registration, postmarked by Sept. 5, is $14 and registration on the day of the race is $18. For families, a "Family Pack" registration is available at $45 for four people.
Participants will be able to pick up registration packages and browse an Expo at the Conyers Street Gym from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 12.
On Saturday, Sept. 13, the one-mile Fun Run/Walk starts at 8 a.m., and the 5 kilometer run starts at 8:30 a.m.
For a registration form or for more information, visit www.covingtonpolice.com/fuzzrun.html or call (770) 385-2145.