For some, Fifth Season races just for fun

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CEDAR RAPIDS — When Justin Gilmore of Clive and his kids, James and Julia, hit the pavement Monday, they’ll be joined by 2,000 other runners across the three Fifth Season races.

Among those will be runners from Team Duma and regional professionals, but the vast majority of the Health Solutions 8K field will be runners on the holiday.

Race director Colin Flynn said around 200 runners usually register on the day of or day before the race, and as of 2 p.m. Saturday, just under 1,500 athletes had registered for the Health Solutions 8K and 5K registration, volunteers said. Flynn said between 300 and 400 kids will race in the kids run.

Between water stops, registration and other necessary posts, Flynn said there are also around 250 volunteers. As for his time commitment as race director, he could not think of how many hours he’d put into the race.

“We’re starting next year already,” Flynn said. “Many hours, it turns into almost a full time job.”

His day will start at 4 a.m., he said, setting up mile markers on the course, and he said he will be back downtown at 5 a.m.

The weather is forecasting cool and cloudy at start time, with only a 5 percent chance of precipitation.

Nathan Hopp, the girls’ track and field coach at Linn-Mar and an 8K participant, said he expects a good, close race and has a goal of finishing in the top 10.

“It’s going to be a tough field,” Hopp said. “I’m really excited for this year’s field. I think it’s going to be better than what people expect.

“I hope to get in the top 10, but it’s going to be tough to do that just knowing where I am.”

With a pack of 1,500 runners, Hopp said it will be imperative to know where he is against the clock and the course, as well as know the course itself.

For runners like the Gilmores, who made the trip to Cedar Rapids to visit family, the run is for fun.

“(I’ve trained) less than I usually do,” Justin Gilmore said. As for the kids, however, “James loves to run.”

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