LAWRENCEVILLE - Thousands of distance runners, joggers, walkers, skaters and community supporters will be descending on Ronald Reagan Parkway on Saturday with their sights set on one thing - running the Reagan.
In what has become Gwinnett's largest road race and a qualifier for Atlanta's Peachtree Road Race, the Run the Reagan also supports two Gwinnett charitable organizations - the Gwinnett Community Clinic and Young Life - that receive the profits generated by the race.
According to Tom Mayfield, one of the volunteers responsible for organizing the event, registration is strong this year and the numbers scheduled to participate have already surpassed last year.
"It's a big relief knowing people want to do it," Mayfield said. "And if you're proud of Gwinnett, this is something you want to do."
One of those people is Kim Ryan, the CEO of Emory Eastside Medical Center, the race's presenting sponsor.
"Having run for many years, I am very excited about participating in the Run the Reagan," Ryan said. "The race is not only for runners, but is a great community event for the whole family."
Registration is still available today at Grace Fellowship Church from noon until 8 p.m., and will also be available Saturday prior to the event's start times. Registering today is $5 cheaper than race day registration.
Run the Reagan offers four different events - a half marathon, a 10K, a 1-mile fun run and a 5K run or walk. A large children's area with games, inflatables, slides and competitions will also be set up.
Drivers should be aware that Ronald Reagan Parkway will be closed from 2 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday. For those who need to reach Presidential Market and Emory Eastside Hospital, use Ga. Highway 124 between U.S. Highway 78 and Sugarloaf Parkway or use Dogwood Road to Tree Lane in Snellville.
And just because there is some rain in the forecast for Saturday, Mayfield says be prepared to run.
"The race goes on," he said. "Rain or shine."
SideBar: If You Run
· What: Run the Reagan road race
· When: Saturday
· Where: Starting line at Presidential Market near Emory Eastside Hospital
· Start times and race day registration fees:
8 a.m., Half Marathon, $50
8:15 a.m., 10K, $30
9:30 a.m., 1-mile fun run, $15
10 a.m., 5K Run/Walk, $25