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Over 500 ready for 4th Autism 5K Color Run

BY ZACK STEEN zsteen@dailycorinthian.com

The color powder is ready.

More than 500 are ready to run and walk in Saturday's fourth annual Reconnect 4 Autism 5K Color Run at Shiloh Ridge Athletic Club.

Race organizer Brad Essary reported 533 people registered for the race with registration extending through the morning of the event. Presented by Austin's Shoes, the run is the nonprofit group's biggest fundraiser of the year.

Essary said packets can be picked up or people who haven't registered can do so on Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Region IV Administration office at 303 North Madison Street in Corinth.

"A registration table will also be set up at the event on Saturday for all volunteers and vendors to check in for assignments and for all participants who didn't pickup packets on Friday," he said. "Folks can also still register online."

Set to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, the race supports the local Autism awareness group's fundraising efforts and includes a one mile route and a 5K (three mile route). The route takes participates along the back nine holes of the golf course and some residential areas at Shiloh Ridge. Color stations are situated throughout the race course.

Essary said raffle items will be available at the run and include a donated recliner from race sponsor Corinthian Furniture.

"Subway and GG Pizzeria will be on site selling food with a portion of proceeds going to Reconnect 4 Autism," he added. "We encourage everyone to come ready to purchase lunch before heading home after the event."

Vertical Church Band will provide entertainment prior to the run and a live D.J. will jam the crowd following the race.

Entry fees are $32 for adults and $22 for children through Friday. Race day registration is $42 for adults and $32 for children. Participants with Autism can enter at no cost. A $2 per person discount is available when a team registers five or more in the same transaction.

Essary offered a few tips for participates including using the provided drawstring event bag to carry personal items such as keys and wallets while running or walking.

He also said participates should "stick around after the race for the group color throw at the main stage."

"That's a pretty awesome experience," the organizer added.

Those participates with Autism will also be honored following race completion with a special race medal sponsored by Modern Woodmen.

A neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, Autism is believed to effect an more than 21 million people worldwide.

(For more information, visit reconnect4autism.com.)