By Coach John Allison
If you are looking for a reason to get out and take advantage of this beautiful weather, the third Annual Fly Like an Eagle 5K and Eaglet One Mile Fun Run may be just that. You may register online at www.viloniaeagle5k.org, or pick up an entry form at Vilonia High School.
At 8 a.m. sharp, April 16, the starting gun will fire, and runners will hit the road for a 3.1 mile race, two loops through the Vilonia School District main campus. Runners will start in front of the high school and finish on the track inside Philip Weaver Stadium. The course is flat and fast. Many runners have achieved their PR at this race. It is USATF certified and chip timed by a professional timing service.
Immediately following the 5K, we will line up to start the Eaglet One Mile Fun Run. This run starts between the baseball field and the field house, then finishes on the track. The course also has optional cutoffs for kids who cannot quite handle an entire mile. The first detour will shorten the distance to a little over a quarter mile, and the second will cut it to about three quarters of a mile. Parents are welcome to escort their kids on the fun run course free of charge.
This year, all paid participants will receive a quality cotton commemorative T-shirt. All finishers of the 5K will also receive a finisher's medal. All kids crossing the finish line of the fun run will receive a finisher's medal. And top three finishers in numerous age groups will receive awards as well.
All proceeds from this event support the Vilonia Cross Country program. In 2015, more than 50 young athletes, male and female, from grades seven through twelve, competed as Vilonia Eagles in cross country meets across the state.
Our athletes train hard and sacrifice much. Training begins in the spring, before the school year ends. They train five to six days per week all summer. When school starts in the fall, our kids run at 5:30 a.m. They run from four to 10 miles a day, depending on their age, experience, and ability. Most of their meets are on Saturday mornings, so they even give up their weekends for about 10 weeks in the fall.
Last year's race helped fund team T-shirts and hoodies for each of our athletes, team meals, and even lodging for the team the night before one distant meet. Proceeds from this year's event will allow us to again reward the sacrifice and hard work of these young athletes.
If you are looking for motivation to get out and get fit, we hope the Fly Like an Eagle 5K can be that motivation. Click the link above to register today. The coaches and athletes of the Vilonia Cross Country program thank you and look forward to seeing you on April 16.