Help Special Olympians this weekend while running or walking through scenic River Bends Park by taking part in the eighth annual Gopher the Gold Charity Run.
The 5K walk/run and 10K run start at 9 a.m. Saturday. Registration begins at 8 a.m. A free 5K Kids' Fun Run is set for 10:15 a.m. All proceeds benefit Special Olympics Michigan Area 14 (Macomb County). There are about 500 runners and walkers registered for this popular event.
"This is a really good cause and a nice course through Riverbends," said Jean Lambert, Special Olympics Michigan regional manager.
There are 1,500 Special Olympic athletes in Area 14 and events such as this enable them to train and participate in games at the local and state level.
Lambert said it costs up to $120 per athlete to attend the state games, although costs do vary depending on their event. Without fundraisers such as the Gopher the Gold, most athletes couldn't afford to attend. Lambert added the Special Olympics is the highlight of the year for most of the athletes.
Cost to participate is $25 on race day. Preregistration ended July 16. Awards will be given to overall and masters male and female 5K/10K finishers. The top three runners in each age group will also receive awards. Visit gopherthegoldraces.com to register or for more information.