The annual , held during Kent's Heritage Festival, keeps growing in popularity — so much so the organizers are hopeful to set attendance and sponsorship records this year.
The run, which is a fundraiser for United Way of Portage County, starts at Dix Stadium, hits a section of The Portage Hike and Bike Trail, winds through the campus and then ends at Willow Street about a block from the Heritage Festival on July 7.
Liz Ziots, director of development for United Way, said all proceeds from registration for the race helps the 43 different community service programs the United Way supports in Portage County.
"They're running for a good cause," she said.
Last year, the race had 268 runners with less than 100 registered a month before the race. So far this year more than 150 people have registered with more than a week of regisration left, including on the day of the race. Organizers are hopeful to surpass last year's attendance.
The easiest way to register is through the race's web page on Active.com where you can download the registration form and mail it in.
As for sponsorships, this year organizers also are hopeful to raise the most money through sponsors than ever before in the race's history.
Matt French, vice president and general manager for Kent's division of AMETEK, which is the race's lead spnosor, said he'll be running again in the race for the second year.
"AMETEK's trying to take a much bigger role in the community," French said. "And this is a good way to give back through a fun event."
Other major sponsors who donated $500 for the race include Kent State University, , , Step2, NEOMED, , AT&T, and the Record-Courier.
After the race, on South Water Street will host an after party with free food for those 21 and older where runners get a free Yeungling light. Proceeds from drink sales that night benefit the United Way.
Runners and participants are encouraged to park at Dix Stadium, and organizers have arranged for a special $3 rate from a local taxi service for runners to get back to their cars at the stadium. A shuttle service also will run from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 to help get runners to the start of the race and back to their cars afterward.