Still time to run or walk in Saturday’s 5K

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The eighth annual Austin P.O.W.E.R. 5K will kick off Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. in the heart of Austin – at the corner of Chicago and Mayfield avenues. It’s not too late to sign up; the cost is $45 per walker/runner.

The hope is that about 1,000 participants will lineup at 8 a.m. to be part.

More than a dozen groups and sponsors – including the Austin African American Business Networking Association, Chicago Police Department and Austin Coming Together – have organized this year’s event with the theme “health is wealth.”

Malcolm Crawford, executive director of AAABNA, said it was a challenge to arrange the 5K given the city permits needed and the development going on along Chicago Avenue. But Crawford said it’s well worth the effort because the event spotlights Austin businesses.

Organizers will start setting up at 6 a.m. under the direction of race coordinators Marshawn Felton and Ronald Smith, who will make sure volunteers are where they need to be, golf carts are out on the route and tents have been set up.

“I am so excited to be a part of a committee that is working so selflessly that illuminates the Austin community,” said Feltus, the planning committee’s vice chairman. “This is definitely an all-in community event.”

Participants should listen for announcements by 8 a.m. and line up in the middle of the street at 5820 W. Chicago Ave. There will be water stations along the 3.1 mile route and snacks at the end back where the event began.

The fastest runners usually finish the race within 15 to 20 minutes, with everyone finished about 10:30 a.m.

For those who would rather not run or walk, there will be places along the route to show support for those participating. Feltus said, “You need somebody clapping and cheering you on. … Some people look out their window and (bang) their pots … as you pass them by.”

The name of the 5K – P.O.W.E.R – stands for “people organizing wealth and economic resources.” As Chicago Avenue undergoes renovations as the the Soul City Corridor, it gives people an opportunity to be in a redeveloped part of the city, Crawford said.

“What’s the difference between a parade and a march? One is reactionary, and one is proactive. And so the 5K is proactive … it’s an opportunity for everybody to come out … (to) help the police department as well as residents and business owners. So it’s just a good way to bring everybody out in the community together.”

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