Portales prepares for Heritage Days fun run

By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer

Runners from Roosevelt County and beyond will pound the pavement this Saturday in the seventh annual Heritage Days Fun Run through the streets of Portales.

Danny Woodward, president of Portales MainStreet, has been a part of the run since its conception.

“The way this all started off — we just wanted something for people to come out and actually start an activity downtown. So then we coincided with Heritage Days,” Woodward said.

The run consists of a 5K walk (3.1 miles), a 5K run and a 10K run (6.2 miles). Saturday’s race time is 8 a.m.

“When we first started, it was a more popular event. It’s not as big of a social (event) for out-of-towners as it once was,” Woodward said. “But it’s actually grown on a local level.”

The 5K run and walk will consist of one time around the course, starting and ending at Portales’ Yam Theater at 219 S. Main Street, while the 10K run will follow the course twice. Woodward says that is due to security and ease of run organization.

“We can control one course twice better than we can control two separate courses,” Woodward said. “With water stops and everything else, it’s just less maintenance.”

Those who wish to participate can register the morning of the race for $18 with proceeds benefiting Portales MainStreet.

Even though Georgia Gonzales, Portales MainStreet manager, doesn’t run, she says she’ll be on hand to volunteer her time.

“I will be out there volunteering my services for the water table or whatever,” Gonzales said. “It’s once a year and it’s incorporated with the Heritage Days festivities.

“We have some competitive runners,” Woodward said. “The majority are exercisers, a lot of them like to come out and socialize and actually do the walk.”

Woodward says the event has grown each year, with about 60 people participating last year.

Woodward also said that runners from Amarillo, Roswell and Hobbs regularly attend the event every year.

T-shirts will be provided for all participants and medals will be awarded to first, second and third place for every age bracket.

“We want everybody to come out and be competing for something,” Woodward said. “One year, we had a little girl show up — and this little girl was the Texas 5K state champion in her age group. Next thing I know, that little girl took off, and there were adults going, ‘Oh no.’”

Woodward also said the committee is looking into the possibility of starting a fall fun run when Eastern New Mexico University is in session.

For more information, call Portales MainStreet at 356-8449.