Gateway to Delta

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2014

Gateway to the Delta Race drawing competitive runners

By John Howell

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Registration for the Batesville Rotary Club’s second annual Gateway to the Delta 10-Miler and 5K scheduled for Saturday, November 15 is 20 percent ahead of last year’s inaugural race, Stephen Whatley told the mayor and aldermen Tuesday.

Whatley, Batesville Rotary president-elect, sought and received from city officials at the First Tuesday meeting a permit to hold the race on city streets. 

This year’s 10-mile race will follow a slightly different course than last year and will avoid crossing Highway 6. 

The 5 K course has also been changed, utilizing a route similar but shorter than the 10 mile course.

“We are going to be using this race as a way to raise money for our good works in Batesville and Panola County,” Whatley said.

That date avoids conflict with both Mississippi State and Ole Miss football games, he said.

“(Civil Engineer) Ed Dean helped us certify this route … which really attracts the more competitive runners,” Whatley said.

The Gateway to the Delta has also been chosen as a “spotlight race” by, raising its profile among runners, he said.

“This is another way that some of you businesses could showcase, as well,” said Chris Smith, with whom Whatley made the presentation to city officials. “It’s going to bring at least 300 to 400 people, if not more.”

“We use a group called ‘Start2Finish,’ a professional group out of Memphis that puts these on all over the southeast; they really make it turnkey for us and for the police department,” Whatley said.

Entry Deadline is Thursday, November 13.

The Young Professionals of Panola (YPP) have planned a pre-race “Blues and Brews” Craft Beer Tasting for Friday night in the Wilbourn Building.

Tickets are $20 at the door or $10 if pre-registered. A variety of craft beers along with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and blues music will be featured at the event sponsored by the Southern Beverage Co. 

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