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Annual Chamber Chase 5K returns to Gainesville
Organizers expect larger crowd March 31 at Riverside Military Academy
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More than 1,100 runners set their pace as they jog around the Riverside Military Academy campus during last year’s eighth annual Chamber Chase 5K run and 2-mile wellness walk. Event coordinator Megan Martin said about 1,100 people registered to run, which is an increase from last year’s field of 1,000.

Chamber Chase 5K run and 2-mile wellness walk

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, March 31

Where: Riverside Military Academy, 2001 Riverside Drive, Gainesville

Cost: $35

More info: www.ghcc.com/healthcare/chamber-chase.php

Aiming to promote health and wellness more than 10 years ago, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, the area’s health care community and Vision 2030 launched a yearly race to focus on corporate wellness.

The ninth annual Chamber Chase 5K run and 2-mile wellness walk will return Thursday, March 31, to Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville. The race will begin at 6 p.m. with the walk starting 10 minutes later. Awards will be presented at 7 p.m. at 2001 Riverside Drive in Gainesville.

“We came up with the idea to have a 5K, and this is our ninth year,” said Kit Dunlap, president and CEO of Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “We thought maybe we’d have about 200 or 250 to participate the first year, but we had about 2,000 people to show up and we still have that many every year.”

Registration costs $35 per person. Registration is open at www.ghcc.com/healthcare/chamber-chase.php through Thursday, March 24, or at the Chamber office through Thursday, March 31.

Organizers expect this year’s participation to be the largest yet.

“We’re already ahead of the actual runners and walkers (from last year) with the applications we’ve already received,” Dunlap said.

As the biggest 5K in Hall County, it is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Chamber.

“Some of the proceeds do go back to the Chamber of Commerce, but then we also give a donation to the Gainesville Park and Rec as well as the Hall County Park and Rec,” said Megan Martin, vice president of membership development of Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

Riverside Military Academy, one of the several sponsors, will hosted the annual event as in previous years.

“Riverside is so good to host it,” Dunlap said. “They put on a first-class event, and we appreciate them and all of our sponsors.”

Although the main activities are the 5K and walk, everyone is welcome. Visitors may check out the companies’ tents or cheer people on in the race. Free food and music flow before and after the race.

“Even if you’re not a runner or a walker, we encourage you to come out because it is just a big celebratory party, especially afterward,” Martin said. “You can come on out and be a cheerleader as well and just cheer on the runners and walkers. So you don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. It’s just a really fun event.”

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