The National Veterans Day Run is coming to Augusta.
Registration is open for the inaugural event, which will take place at Lake Olmstead Park and feature two distances, a timed 5K run and a 1-mile family walk.
To commemorate and honor military men and women, the race will commence at 11 minutes after the hour on Nov. 11 in 40 U.S. cities to mark the signing of the World War I armistice, the end of fighting in Western Europe and the collapse of the German Empire.
Keri Mullins, the director of operations for the National Veterans Day Run, said that with the addition of a virtual run that will enable families to connect with troops deployed overseas, she expects more than 25,000 people to take part in the run.
“With runners participating on the same date around the globe, we are creating a commemorative event that showcases our love and commitment to the men and women who are willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom,” Mullins said.
She said she expects 2013 to be a “milestone year” for the third annual race. Last year’s National Veterans Day Run events raised nearly $10,000 for veterans programs.
This year, the event, which started in nine cities in 2011, has quadrupled in size because of community support, developed a worldwide model and will work with a charity, the Folds of Honor Foundation, to increase awareness and donations for military families that need financial assistance to pursue an education or cope with a disability.
As a way of saying “thank you” for their service, veterans and all active-duty military personnel will be provided a discounted entry fee of $11 into any event. Depending on the event, regular prices range from $15 to $35 for adults and children.
When signing up for remote participation next month, runners will receive their official race bib and be able to record their times in order to participate with their families overseas, Mullins said.
In Augusta, the 5K run will begin and end near the Julian Smith Gazebo at Lake Olmstead Park and feature a turnaround on Augusta Levee Road just before the River Watch Parkway bridge.
All 5K finishers – even those participating in the virtual run – will receive a commemorative 2013 National Veterans Day Run Finisher’s Medal attached to a red-white-and-blue ribbon.
Mullins said the run is seeking both local and national sponsors for the run. To become a sponsor, visit www.veteransdayrun.org/sponsors.
For National Veterans Day Run news and updates, follow the race on Twitter @VeteransDayRun or Facebook at www.facebook.com/veteransdayrun.