By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
INDIALANTIC -- October is finally here, and that means it's time for all of the ghouls and goblins to put on their running shoes.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, the town of Indialantic will host its sixth annual Witch Way 5K Run/Walk, a family-friendly event. The race, which takes place at Nance Park at the Indialantic Boardwalk, begins at 5:30 p.m.
The Halloween-themed 5K run/walk has been the primary source of funds for the major boardwalk and beach crossover improvements in Indialantic.
Since the inaugural race, the Witch Way 5K Run/Walk has provided nearly $50,000 of race proceeds for beach access improvements, as well as funds from paver sales.
"Our boardwalk is enjoyed by residents, as well as visitors throughout Florida and other states," said Indialantic Mayor Dave Berkman in a press release. "Without using any taxpayer funding for new materials, we've been able to improve the beachfront for everyone to enjoy."
Proceeds from this year's Witch Way 5K Run/Walk will help the town of Indialantic continue to make enhancements.
"Beach access improvements authorized by the Town Council include adding a seating area and renovating dune crossovers at Watson Drive, across from Wendy's, and across from Eighth Avenue, similar improvements made at the Tampa Avenue dune crossover," said Chris Chinault, town manager, in a press release. "Additionally, a drinking fountain and foot wash are being installed near the Watson Drive crossover."
Cathy Berkman, media contact for the town of Indialantic, said that the projected cost of improvements is $16,951.
"There are other cross overs that we can improve in the future with money from the Witch Way 5K, or as money becomes available," Mrs. Berkman added. "There is also a handicapped ramp at the Fifth Avenue boardwalk going down to the beach that is made out of wood, and we can change it to Trex at a later date."
Another important part of Indialantic will also receive a portion of the proceeds from this year's run.
"Proceeds from this race will benefit the Parks and Recreation of the Town of Indialantic and benefit Indialantic Elementary," Mrs. Berkman said. "Their focus for the school is on professional development for the teachers and resource materials for the classrooms to improve math and reading."
The Witch Way 5K Run/Walk is fun for participants of all ages, giving them the opportunity to dress up in their costumes.
"One of the most memorable costumes was a patriotic Morphsuit runner, running with a big hat and American flag," Mrs. Berkman said. "This red, white and blue suit covered the entire runner's body, including hands, face and feet."
Another fun feature of the Witch Way 5K is the popular Personal Record Challenge.
"At most races, only the fastest runners walk away with a medal," Mrs. Berkman said. "The PR Challenge rewards runners, who beat their previous Witch Way 5K time."
Last year, more than 125 runners earned a PR Challenge award.
Following the race, a party will be hosted by Long Doggers in Indialantic, which includes free food for race participants, music and trick-or-treating.
"This race has been successful because we encourage families to come out and run our 5K, with an after-party hosted by Long Doggers, trick-or-treating for the kids -- whether they run or not -- in the Indialantic Shopping Center, as well as a costume contest," Mrs. Berkman said. "This is a nighttime run, and the weather is getting a little cooler by this time of year. It's a great way to get together with friends and family."
The town of Indialantic Witch Way 5K Run/Walk is Saturday, Oct. 12 at Nance Park at the Indialantic Boardwalk. The run begins at 5:30 p.m.
Registration fees for adults are $27, while the fee the day of the race is $32. Cost for children younger than 12 is $20, while the fee the day of the race is $25.
For more information about the Witch Way 5K, or to register online, visit www.witchway5K.com.