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Winter Series begins Sunday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Walkers and runners will get the chance to get out and beat winter woes in the upcoming Winter Series.

There are three races, which take place December, January and February. 

The first race is this Sunday, beginning with a 3,000-meter walk and a 5,000-meter run. The second event, which is Jan. 5, begins with a 4,000-meter walk and an 8,000-meter run follows.

The third and last event takes place Feb. 2 with a 5,000-meter walk and a 10,000-meter run.

All walks start at 1 p.m. and runs start at 2 p.m.

All of the events start and finish behind West Virginia University Charleston/Charleston Area Medical Center Memorial Hospital at 31 Street and Virginia Avenue, according to a news release on the event.

"We have been climbing every year in participation," said W.K. Munsey of the Tallman Track Club. "Last year, we had more than 400 runners and walkers compete in at least one of the events. More people did all three than just a single or double."

The Tallman Track Club sponsors the event along with Robert's Running & Walking Shop, WCHS TV and the City of Charleston.

So far, Munsey says 300 have registered for the seventh Winter Series.

"We're really excited," Munsey said. "We're going to run or walk even if it rains." 

People who participate in all three races will get a hooded sweatshirt. Also, awards will be presented to the top men and women runners in age categories ranging from 14 and younger to 70 and older.

Awards also will be presented to wheelchair racers.

For walkers, there is no age group award but the top three men and women will win awards for the first two races. Awards will be presented to both runners and walkers after the last race, based on times for all three races.

Munsey says he highly encourages people to participate, even if they're not runners. However, people who participate in the walking course are asked not to run. He also encourages people to bring unwrapped toys as part of WCHS's Tower of Toys.

"We highly encourage walkers," he said. "We made the walk separate from the run to give them their own spotlight. You also can mix and match. Say, you know you can't run a 10k, you can still walk the 5k."

Runners and walkers may take advantage of a discounted registration fee at a first-ever registration party today from noon to 6 p.m. at Robert's Running & Walking Shop on Pennsylvania Avenue in Charleston.

The discounted rate for runners and walkers during this event is $40 for all three events and $18 for students.

Otherwise, same day registration for each event is $20. People also may register online at www.tristateracer.com or print a paper application from http://tallmantrackclub.com/winter_series.htm.

"It's a lot easier than you think it is but you just have to get started," Munsey said. 

Contact writer Andrea Lannom at Andrea.Lannom@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-5148. Follow her at www.twitter.com/AndreaLannom.


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