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Run the Reagan set to celebrate 20th anniversary

Thousands participate in the start of the 19th annual Run the Reagan 5k road race in Snellville in 2013.

Thousands participate in the start of the 19th annual Run the Reagan 5k road race in Snellville in 2013.

A day away from celebrating its 20th anniversary, Gwinnett’s premier road race is still on despite the recent winter weather. Fortunately for runners, the National Weather Service indicates Saturday’s forecast is sunny with a high near 49.

“If we get everybody that’s signed up and we always anticipate for late registration and race-day registration, we’re looking at 1,800 (participants),” said Norman Freid, chairman of the board of directors for the race. Last year, the race drew 2,400 runners.

Ronald Reagan Parkway was one of several roadways in Gwinnett that was closed Wednesday due to icy conditions, but race organizers hope sunshine will be plentiful, melting any ice that might be left on the 13-mile race route. Reagan Parkway will be closed to traffic for the race from 11:30 p.m. Friday through 5 p.m. Saturday.

The weather conditions aren’t expected to affect race packet pickup and late registration, which takes place from noon to 8 p.m. Friday at Academy Sports at 1585 Scenic Highway N. in Snellville. Race-day packet pickup and registration will begin at 7 a.m. near the start/finish line at the intersection of Ronald Reagan Parkway and Presidential Circle.

The timed 10K is set to begin at 9:15 a.m., followed by the timed half marathon at 9:30 a.m., the one-mile fun run at 10:30, and the timed 5K and 5K run/walk at 11.

Despite current plans to go ahead with the race, a final decision will be made as the start time draws closer.

“The final decision is going to be made between the race coordinator and the department of transportation and the Gwinnett Police Department,” Freid said. “So far everything is cool. We haven’t changed anything yet.”

Freid stressed that runners should check www.runthereagan.org before heading out to the race.

“What I would tell runners is to watch the website,” he said.