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Crown Point becoming the city for 5K races

Viki Brubaker Portage (foreground) is dressed festively as she runs during SantWalk   Run downtown Crown Point Ind. Saturday

Viki Brubaker of Portage (foreground) is dressed festively as she runs during the Santa Walk & Run in downtown Crown Point, Ind. Saturday December 24, 2011. Brubaker ran to celebrate the first anniversary of her first run with friends (not visible) Yo Monahan of Portage, Stephanie Crook of Valparaiso and Annette Lister of Crown Point. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 1, 2013 2:45PM



CROWN POINT — As more requests for 5K races continue to flow in, officials want to take a closer look to determine the best use of city resources related to the events.

The Board of Public Works and Safety last week approved three race requests for the 2013 season including the Crossroads YMCA 33rd annual Hub Run on May 5 and two new races — one for the Old Sheriff’s House Foundation Nov. 2 and another for Crown Brewing’s Mayfest celebration May 18.

Keith Stevens, the city’s chief of staff, said 5K races have become the new golf outing in terms of raising funds for clubs and organizations and the volume of requests continues to climb each year.

“I think it’s appropriate …to see what impact some of these are having on our resources,” Stevens said.

More than 1,700 runners participated in the 2012 Hub Run, according to run organizer Chris Mullers. The Hub Run is the granddaddy of 5K races and includes a trip around the Historic Court House Square.

Dave Maurer, who made the request on behalf of the Old Sheriff’s House, said his fledgling run will avoid the main roadways and be considerable smaller.

“I’m envious of my colleague with 1,700 runners. I’m hoping to get 100,” Maurer said.

While races may start out small, they continue to grow in participants each year, and the popularity for hosting such events continues to grow as well.

“It seems like we are kind of getting inundated,” said Board of work member Robert Clemons.

Mayor David Uran, himself a runner, said 5K races are popular in part because of shifting attitudes about staying healthy.

“This is becoming the easiest way to fundraise and get people engaged,” Uran said.

He said the administration has discussed the possibility of having certain days of the summer designated as 5K race days and combining several races on the same day. Consolidating the races to one day would minimize the impact on city resources and possibly help the groups reduce the number of volunteers needed to man an event.

Uran said officials may also consider using the Sportsplex, which has ample parking, as a start and finish point for races.

Stevens said the cost in personnel to man the events, set up barricades and provide police and emergency management agency workers for the race routes is not dramatic, but with the increased number of requests coming through, the cost to the city bears looking into.

“I’d like to sit down and see what the impacts are,” Stevens said.



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