International College/John Clay 5K Road Race Set for September 1

There’s a new twist to the International College/John Clay 5K road race, the traditional kick-off to the fall and winter road racing season.

This year’s event, scheduled for Saturday, September 1, at 7:30 a.m. at Naples’ Lowdermilk Park, includes awards in "Clydesdale" and "Athena" divisions. The top three finishers in the Clydesdale division, males weighing more than 190 pounds, and in the Athena division, females weighing more than 145 pounds, will receive awards.

"Clydesdale and Athena divisions have been popular in other races and we wanted to follow suit with the concept in our race," said Les Sutter, Ph. D., faculty advisor to the International College Runners Club and chair of the school’s Interdisciplinary Studies program. "It levels the field for larger frame runners who are accomplished and fast in their own right but aren’t quite fast enough to compete with smaller, lighter runners."

Awards will also be given out to the top three finishers for males and females in 13 age divisions and in overall and master’s (over 40-years-old) categories. The 3.1-mile course starts and ends in Lowdermilk Park and goes through the The Moorings and Coquina Sands neighborhoods. Walkers and runners completing the course will receive ribbons.

In another change, registered participants will receive a tank top.

"Most races give away t-shirts," Sutter said. "We wanted to give away a tank top because it’s something more conducive to running in the hot, humid climate that we live in."

More than 250 people are expected to participate in the event coordinated by the Gulf Coast Runners club and named for a former City of Naples Parks and Recreation employee. Proceeds go to the International College scholarship fund. Last year, more than $1,000 was raised for International College students.

Erica Szilagyi, Barron Collier High School cross country coach, was the women’s overall winner back-to-back in 1999 and 2000. Myles Gibson of Lehigh Acres took first-place in the men’s overall division last year. Miguel Diaz of Miami won the men’s overall title in 1999.

Registration fees are $5 for elementary, middle school, high school and college students. For others, pre-registration is $12 and race day registration is $15. There are discounted registration fees for Gulf Coast Runners members.

Race registration forms are available at International College, 2655 Northbrooke Drive, Naples, at the intersection of Interstate 75 and Immokalee Road at Exit 17, and 8695 College Parkway, Fort Myers, in the Renaissance Center. Forms are also available at the Naples On The Run store in the Gateway Center, 2128 Ninth St., Naples. Race packets

can be picked up on Friday, August 31, at Naples On The Run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Race day packet pickup and late registration begins at 6:30 a.m., September 1.

For more information on the International College/John Clay 5K call the College at 513-1122.
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