The Night Owl 9K, which is about 5.6 miles, is one of the 12 Colonial Road Runner Grand Prix events. This means that participants can receive credit depending on how they finish overall and how they place in their age group. The trail itself incorporates some of the single-track trails at Freedom Park used for mountain biking.
“So every year there are several races selected each month that are part of the Grand Prix,” said Happy Cat Events Founder Ellen Alexander. “So throughout the year, you can build up these points, and then at the end of the year there’s a big banquet and prizes.”
A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to benefit Nature’s Nanny Wildlife Rehabilitation. The organization exists to help rehabilitate and return animals to the wild whenever possible, and it also strives to educate the public on wildlife issues.
“They’re [Nature’s Nanny Wildlife Rehab] going to bring owls and everybody can meet the birds and learn about wildlife rehab,” said Alexander. “People can ask questions like, ‘what do I do if I see an animal in distress?’ Any questions like that, they’ll have information to talk a little more about that.
“The rehabbers are supported by donations and they really do it for the passion that they have for animals, more than anything else,” added Alexander. “I said, well why don’t we try and educate the public a little bit by having them there and the Owls there, because everyone loves owls, and we’ll donate money to help out the organization.”
The course itself includes a narrow single-track trail, fire road, and paved trails that are all located within the park. While running in the race, participants will also have four opportunities to get water if needed.
Packet pick-up will be on race day starting at 4:30 p.m. and the race starts at 6 p.m. There will also be a post-race party including beer and pizza.
Individual awards will be given in the following categories:
- Overall top 3 Male and Female
- Overall top 3 Male and Female Walkers
- Top 3 in the following age groups for Male and Female: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 56-69, 70-74, 75 & up
Registration is now open for the event. For more information on the Night Owl 9K, check out the registration page. Registration closes on July 14 at 11:59 p.m.