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33rd annual race nearing capacity
by Steve Beavers
Apr 29, 2014 | 83 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Runner Jennifer Shipp takes time to sign the "Miles of Smiles" banner while picking up her race packet. / Staff photo by Steve Beavers
Runner Jennifer Shipp takes time to sign the "Miles of Smiles" banner while picking up her race packet. / Staff photo by Steve Beavers
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Miles of Smiles.

Runners and walkers in the 33rd Annual Corinth Coca-Cola Classic 10K are getting 6.2 miles worth when the gun starts the annual event in downtown Saturday.

Organizers of the race were getting closer to filling the field as of Tuesday afternoon.

Only 44 spots remained in the popular event. The cap number for race officials is 1,500.

"This time last year we only had 1,220 registered," said race co-coordinator Mona Lisa Grady. "At close Monday, we were at 1,410."

The number quickly jumped to 1,460 by Tuesday afternoon.

This year's running puts the race over 1,000 registered for a fourth straight time. From 1989 to 1995, the race put together a seven-year streak with at least 1,000 signed up for the 6.2-mile event.

The race is only 40 away from reaching the 1,500 mark for a second straight year.

"It looks like we will fill up at any time," said race co-coordinator Amy Smith.

Cost to enter the 10K is $25. Deadline to enter is May 2 or until all spots have been taken. Registration closes at 7 p.m. May 2. Sign up is available by going to coke10k@corinth.ms.

Several runners stopped by Coke to pick up packets Tuesday.

Becky Digby was there to collect a packet for her son, Kaleb, who is just completing Army basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia.

"He runs it every year," said the mother of the Calvary Scout. "Since he is in such good shape, I am expecting a good time this year."

Church of the Crossroads has 70 members singed up for the 8:30 a.m. run.

"That's a great idea for churches who want to train together next year," said Grady.

In effort to collect shoes for Soles 4 Souls, race organizers are hoping to collect 1,000 pairs of gently worn shoes to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.

Shoes can be dropped off on race day or when entrants pick up their race packet. Drop off locations also include Austin's Shoes, Magnolia Regional Health Center and Cooley & Labas Financial Advisors.

For a second straight year, Coke 10K officials are honoring Gold Standard Bearers. The honorees, recognizable by a bright yellow shirt, will be honored during the awards ceremony after the race for their significant contribution to physical fitness. In 2013, Kossuth's Jody Ballard, Memphis's Gerald Holbrook and Jackson's Rod Simmons were part of the first class of Gold Bearer Standard winners.

Holbrook is being honored again this year in a different fashion. The Memphis runner is slated to be the grand marshal on Saturday.

Co-sponsored by Magnolia Regional Health Center, the Classic 10K is called "one of the 100 great short races" by Running Times. More than $6,000 in cash prizes will be awarded on race day. Prizes money will be awarded to the top three places in eight different divisions and in age groups 25 and over.

"Race day is looking ideal," said Grady. "We should be able to start set up and be ahead of schedule as much as possible."
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