“Fun for all ages” and “twice the size” are key expectations for the 2014 Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney Run, set for Saturday, Sept. 27. This year’s run includes a 10K course. The start/finish line for 10K, 5K and 1-mile runners will be located this year at Cockrill Middle School, 1351 Hardin Rd. in McKinney, and the starting gun for the first race is at 8:30 a.m.

Phil Wheat, president of the Crape Myrtle Trails Board said, “We’re excited to be one of the events kicking off a wonderful McKinney Oktoberfest weekend. We think the inclusion of a certified, fast 10K course will bring runners from beyond the boundaries of McKinney to join the fun and see what a great community we have.”

Again this year, run participants will enjoy a party atmosphere in Myrtle Village both before and after the race. Entertainment in the area near the start/finish will include a petting zoo, face painter, bounce house, inflatable obstacle course, music, warm-up exercises, plus Chicken Dances and other fun afterwards. In a now-established tradition, students from the school with the most participants will get to see their coach or principal Kiss a Pig. (“Myrtle” is her name.)

Rodney Haynes, race chair, said, “The new course is a beautiful race through Bonnie Wenk Park and McKinney Trails.” He said the new venue allows Myrtle Village to be “twice the size as before.”

The race is directed and timed by Racing Systems through Run-On! of McKinney. Medals and trophies will be awarded the fastest runners in multiple age divisions. Follow-up rewards to local education occur in the weekend after the run, when Crape Myrtle Trails Board members return $5 of students’ and parents’ registration fees to participating schools.

For advance registration, go to crapemyrtletrails.org. Registration on race day begins at 7:30 a.m. in front of Cockrill Middle School, at the intersection of White Avenue and Hardin Boulevard.

More than 35 community businesses and organizations are sponsors for the event, led by the McKinney Community Development Corporation. Other key sponsors include Progressive Waste Solutions, Encore Wire, Medical Center of McKinney, Lobb Toyota, Methodist McKinney Hospital, WalMart, Bank of Texas, Certa Pro, The Body Shop, Pierce Insurance Group, Haynes Landscape & Maintenance, Branded Floors Inc. and many others.

For additional information, contact Phil Wheat at pdwheat@unitedplanners.com.