Good running weather predicted for Saturday race 11/6/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 6, 2015


Good running weather predicted for Saturday race

By John Howell
Saturday’s Gateway to the Delta 10-Miler and 5K Race will feature faces both new and familiar with up to 400 runners  expected to hit Batesville streets in a quest for medals, recognition and satisfaction in personal accomplishment.

By Thursday morning 345 runners had pre-registered for the Gateway, according to the website of Start2Finish Event Management, exceeding last year’s 300 participants. With continued registration, 375 to 400 runners could be participating, according to Batesville Rotary President Stephan Whatley.

“We run in the rain,” Whatley said. Friday’s forecast allows the possibility of rain and cool temperatures.

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“Good running weather,” Whatley said, “we like it a little bit cool and a little bit wet.”

Continued registration is expected until the 7:45 a.m. Saturday deadline, 15 minutes before the 8 a.m. starting time for the 10-miler. Starting time for the 5K will follow at 8:30 a.m.

All runners will start in the Batesville Square and head north on Highway 35. 5K runners will turn right at Oak Ridge Lane and then wind back near South Panola High School, through residential streets over the plainly marked course to the finish line back on the Square.

10-Miler runners will continue north on Highway 35 to Corporate Drive where they will turn right into the industrial park to Lakeview Road, to Shamrock, to Keating Road, to Oak Ridge Lane where the 10-Miler route joins the 5K route back to the Square and finish line.

“Get out and cheer the racers,” Whatley said, encouraging spectators to gather along the routes to see the runners.

Runner packet pickup or registration will be held in the lobby of the Batesville Courthouse from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday runner packet pickup or registration will begin at 6:30 a.m. in the downtown gazebo.

Among top five finishers in the 2014 5K Race, only Perrin Caldwell had registered by Wednesday to enter tomorrow’s 5K event. Caldwell, a Batesville Rotary member whose Caldwell Insurance is a Gateway presenting sponsor, completed last year’s 5K with a time of 25:09:59 to claim first place among men 50-59.

Likewise, only one of five men who were top finishers in last year’s 10-Miler had registered for Saturday. Levi Perkins of Senatobia completed the course in 1:09:05:40 last year to claim first place in men’s 10-19 age group.

A trio of Oxford women runners, all of whom placed in last year’s top five 10-Milers, have registered to return Saturday.

Erin Bell was second overall among women last year with 1:15:51:20; Jill Knight, first in the 30-39 age group with 1:18:05:30; and Sarah Scott, first among women 20-29 with 1:18:15:56.
A Batesville runner who placed first in his age group last year has also registered for Saturday. Gerald Dye is among the four men age 65-69 registered at mid-week for the 10-Miler.

Proceeds from funds raised by the Batesville Rotary Club’s Gateway races have been used as matching funds for grants from Rotary International, Whatley said. The money has been used for projects at the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi, for scholarships at South Panola High School and North Delta School and for other local projects. Last year the club was able to make a substantial donation to the J. P. Hudson Memorial Park Association with proceeds from the run.