The Covington Police Department is on the lookout once again, but instead of searching for rule breakers, they are looking for record breakers for the 28th annual Fuzz Run.
The popular event will take place on Sept. 10 this year and begin with the 1-mile Fun Run at 8 a.m. and the 5k (3.1 miles) Fuzz Run at 8:30 a.m. Registration is $20 per person. Proceeds will benefit the Police Who Care fund, a local charity that provides assistance to local families in need. Funds also go to help some of the different local organizations, such as the Special Olympics.
The event raised roughly $25,000 last year, which is the goal every year. It has also grown by leaps and bounds, from the first year when there were about 50 participants to last year when there were around 2,200.
There are inflatables for the kids and several booths set up offering free samples. Johnny’s Pizza will have free slices of pizza, Bradley’s Bar-B-Que will be handing out samples and General Mills will be handing out free cereal. There are more than 200 door prizes that have been donated by businesses and individuals in both Newton and surrounding counties. The Fuzz Run is also professionally timed and attracts some of the state’s top runners who can get points for competing.
The ever popular Fuzz Run shirts, which are given to runners or can be purchased from the CPD, will go back to a soft cotton material. They saw a change in 2010 and were made out of a dry-fit, moisture-wicking shirt, which is what many of the runs around the state are using. The exact design of the shirt is always a surprise, but Officer Chip Shirah, director of the run, did say the theme would be red, white and blue because the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is the day after the run.
Participants must have their applications postmarked by no later than Sept. 1 in order to ensure they receive a shirt. Those registering on the day of the race may not receive one. Pre-registration is $18 and registration on the day of the event is $20. There is a family pack price of $60 for four. Pre-register your group (schools, churches, businesses) and the one with the largest participation wins the Cotton Cup.
Shirah said he’s hoping for 3,000 participants, which would make this year the largest group in the history of the run. He also stressed that even though the event is called a run, there are always more walkers.
“There are always more walkers than runners,” he said. “A lot of people who say they want to get into shape use the Fuzz Run as a kick-start.”
Overall winners are not eligible for age group awards. Overall race winners, male and female, will receive a $250 award with additional $125 awards for a course record bonus. The men’s record is 14:40 and the women’s record is 16:40.
Participants can pick their race number up Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the business pre-race expo at the Conyers Street Gym. There is a special gift available for the first 1,000 people that come to the expo Friday. Saturday there will be a health expo at the gym and Shirah said they are still looking for people to participate in the health expo.
The course will run though historic downtown Covington. A map and registration information can be found at covingtonpolice.com under the Fuzz Run tab. Anyone with questions can contact Shirah at (770) 786-7605.