Porter County Sheriff's Department

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2008 Foot Pursuit

Challenge is on for runners, walkers

Weather, terrain will make Valpo-area race arresting
By Ken Kosky
Date posted online: Monday, February 11, 2008

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP | Running and walking enthusiasts who don't mind the possibility of a little snowfall or some chilly temperatures can start the racing season a little early.

The third annual Foot Pursuit 5K Run and Walk is set for 9 a.m. March 1 at Sunset Hill Farm County Park at U.S. 6 and Meridian Road in the Valparaiso area.

The race is organized by the Porter County Sheriff's Department to benefit charities the police work with -- the American Red Cross in Porter County and the Timothy Hecht Scholarship Fund. The Red Cross helps emergency responders and victims at emergency scenes, and the scholarship fund is in memory of a county officer who died in 1999.

Police spokesman Lt. Chris Eckert said the race has a police/fire challenge, pitting emergency responders against each other in a team competition. But he said the race also has become popular with people who aren't emergency responders but who want to have fun and help out some good causes.

"The first one was cold and windy with sideways sleet, but it was still well attended," Eckert said.

"Last year it was cold, but wasn't terrible."

The 3.1-mile event, run over a wooded trail with rolling hills, grows in popularity each year. The organizer, police Cpl. Scott Hartz, is hoping to draw 300 participants. It is the first of 11 races in the 2008 XYZ Trail Race Series, a succession of runs in Northwest Indiana and Michigan. It's also part of the Trail Runner Magazine race series.

In addition, runners and walkers who wear a costume will receive a prize. Last year, someone dressed in a gorilla suit, another person dressed as a beer keg and others dressed as jail inmates, Hartz said.

The entry fee is $10 without a shirt; $16 with a shirt before Feb. 22 or $20 on race day. For more information, e-mail footpursuit@portercountysheriff.com, visit www.portercountysheriff.com/footpursuit or call (219) 477-3045, ext. 4000.

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