The annual Long Run at the Ranch returns for its sixth installment on Saturday, Jan. 21 in support of the athletic programs at Wiregrass Ranch High and John Long Middle schools.
The day includes a 5-kilometer and a 1-mile race at the middle school, 2025 Mansfield Blvd. in Wesley Chapel. It will also include a health fair for the first time.
The day is organized by Bulls cross country coaches Don Howard and Chris Loth. Howard began the event when the school opened six years ago and Loth joined when he became the boys coach the following year.
“I wanted to have a 5K event in the area to promote running in the community and to raise money for the athletic programs of both schools,” said Howard, who is also the Bulls girls track and field coach. “We have raised a total of approximately $12,000 in the first five years.”
The money is split between the two schools. Wiregrass Ranch uses the money to pay for some of the expenses during the cross country and track and field seasons. John Long’s goes toward the general athletic budget.
Howard said about 200 runners come out each year to the 5K, with another 100 running in the 1-miler. Awards are given for both races overall as well as for various age groups including the fastest male and female runner in elementary, middle and high school, as well as staff from either facility. Donated prizes will also be given out.
The 5K starts at 8:30 a.m., with the 1-mile run beginning at about 9:15 a.m. Those interested can sign up the day of the event until 8 a.m., or register at FitNiche at The Shops at Wiregrass on Friday, Jan. 20 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. For more information, call (813) 404-6350.