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Fifth Annual Run for Food set for Saturday

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By Kathryn Jacewicz, Staff writer

OCEAN ISLE BEACHDonations to local food banks and pantries tend to slow down after the holiday season, but the number of people who rely on donations remains the same.

The Fifth Annual Run for Food will kick off at 9 a.m. Saturday in Ocean Isle Beach, and all proceeds will directly benefit the South Brunswick Interchurch Council Food Pantry.

Tom Haran, one of the race’s organizers, has volunteered for the SBIC’s food pantry, and said it needs donations now more than ever.

“We’ve really seen the number of people go up, especially in the layoffs in the construction industry,” he said. “Because of the economy, we’re having fewer donations from the food stores.”

But this year’s race is showing no sign of a shortage of runners. Haran said last year, the race attracted between 200-250 participants, and this year’s numbers are above where they were this time last year.

“We’ve got about 200 so far, as lot of people do walk up,” he said. “If it’s a decent day, which they’re predicting, then we’ll get a lot more people the day of the race.”

The 5th Annual Run for Food is a half marathon run or 5K run/walk. The entry fee for the half marathon is $30, and the 5K is $25.

The race begins and ends at Ocean Isle Beach Town Hall, with the courses extending over the Odell Williamson Bridge.

“It adds a little more interest than other road races,” Haran said of the view of the island and ocean from atop the bridge. “It’s not that long, it’s a quick up and down. Hopefully that takes away from the pain.”

Both courses are certified by USATF, and all runners will be timed.

Saturday’s forecast doesn’t call for morning rain, and temperatures are set to reach 60 degrees, which Haran said is perfect running weather.

“For people that run, cool is better than hot. Sixty degrees is pretty pleasant,” he said.

Water stops and energy boosters will be available throughout the course.

“They’ll be plenty there to keep everyone going, and we’re looking forward to increasing our numbers this year,” Haran said.

The Fifth Annual Run for Food is set to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Ocean Isle Beach Town Hall. Participants can pre-register by calling Haran at 579-5994, online at www.active.com or in person at Ocean Isle Beach Town Hall from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday or the morning of the race. Pre-registration is preferred.