Those wishing to start the New Year on the right foot can now sign up to participate in the Joplin Family Y’s 10th annual Chilly 5K and Kids’ Frozen Fun Run on New Year's Day.
The Chilly 5K is a point-by-point 3.18-mile race beginning at 11 a.m. at Memorial Hall and ends at the Joplin Family Y, 3404 McIntosh Circle Drive. The course is mainly downhill, and the full race map can be found at www.rufusracing.com/events/chilly-5k. The free Kids’ Frozen Fun Run begins about noon and is 0.15 miles in length. Each child will receive a finisher’s sticker once crossing the finish line.
Presented by Freeman Health System, the annual race allows community members to start the new year off in a healthy way while also benefiting the Joplin Family Y. Kim Gray, chief operation officer at the Y, said the event usually raises about $5,000.
“Proceeds from the event provide financial assistance to youth in the community to be able to participate in Y programming such as our after-school care, our year-round feeding program, sports programs, drowning prevention and all of the community-based activities the Y offers,” Gray said.
Gray said the race has grown every year, becoming signature New Year’s Day event for community members and families. The upcoming race is expected to draw approximately 425 participants.
“It gives people the opportunity to commit to being healthy in the new year, and keeping those resolutions is really important,” Gray said.
The local group Rufus Racing is partnering with the Joplin Family Y to help produce the 2020 event. The Joplin-based organization is a group composed of runners, cyclists and triathletes who put on several community events throughout the year.
Ruth Sawkins, founder and owner of Rufus Racing, said one of the great things about this race is that participants don’t have to get up early.
“We just really want to take this and make a healthy community opportunity for New Year’s Day,” she said.
Rufus Racing is also teaming up with Mac’s Cinnamon Rolls and Baked Goods in Joplin to provide fresh cinnamon rolls to the 5K participants after the race.
“We’re buying them for the runners, so every paid 5K runner gets a fresh made-that-morning cinnamon roll,” Sawkins said. “It’s a motivation to run.”
Each racer will receive a T-shirt with a yeti mascot wearing ski goggles and a spinning yeti head medal. The top five winners overall will also take home yeti merchandise such as jogger pants.
“We invite the community to kick off the new year with us and to see all of the programs offered by the Y,” Sawkins said. “It’s a really fun race.”
Early race registration for the 5K is $35, and the price will increase by $5 after Dec. 13. The Kids’ Frozen Fun Run is free, but registration is encouraged. Packet pickup and in-person sign-ups will be available from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 31 at the Joplin Family Y. Last-minute racers may register from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, at Memorial Hall. For information or to sign up online, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/MO/Joplin/Chilly5k20.