The Gold Country Grand Prix is back for the 2013 season, and opening the 11-race series is the 13th annual Daffodil 5K/10K run.
The Penn Valley run is set for Sunday at Western Gateway Park and expects nearly 500 participants.
“We continue to grow,” race director Gene Gilligan said. “Once the Grand Prix was formed, for whatever reason, we have noticed more families and kids in their teens participating.”
The Daffodil run is also popular in part because it’s the flattest course in the Grand Prix, making it the fastest, Gilligan said.
“People seem to like the Daffodil,” Gilligan said. “People lay dormant for a few months, so it’s cool to get back into it on the flattest course.”
The Daffodil run starts at Western Gateway Park, then takes racers through the relatively flat streets of Penn Valley.
In 2012, course records were set in four different age groups.
Lars Weston set the mark in the 5K, 11- to 14 year-old age group, with a time of 18 minutes and 22.1 seconds. Michelle Newborn set the mark for the 10K, 40-49 AG, with a time of 45:10.5. Parker Scanlon is the record holder in the 10K, 15-18 AG, at 39:30.3. Denis O’Halloran owns the 10K record, 60-69 AG, with a time of 44:26.8.
Funds raised by the Daffodil run go toward the Penn Valley Daffodil Planting Program, which in time hopes to have daffodils line the major roads in Penn Valley.
Funds will also be dispersed among the Penn Valley area schools, including Ready Springs, Vantage Point, Pleasant Valley, Williams Ranch and Clear Creek schools.
The funds will also go toward a $500 scholarship that will be given to a graduating senior in Nevada County. Remaining funds will go toward the Penn Valley Sign Project and the races sponsors, The Penn Valley Rotary, the Penn Valley Lions and the Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The course is similar to years past, except the walkers will take a separate route from the runners, said Gilligan.
“Each year we try to make it more runner-friendly and walker-friendly,” he said.
Registration will take place Sunday from 7 a.m. until 8:15 a.m. with a kids free run starting at 8:30 a.m.
The 5K and 10K runs start at 8:45 p.m. and the 5K walk begins at 8:50 a.m.
No dogs, strollers or headsets will be permitted on the runner’s course.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.