Hillsborough County is looking for a few good runners. In an effort to showcase the natural beauty of the many parks throughout the area with running trails, the county recently announced the first date for its Run Hillsborough 5K series.

The series will highlight a different Hillsborough County park each quarter with a run through various terrains and a medal for all registered finishers. Runners, walkers and hikers of all ages and abilities are invited to attend.

“Hillsborough County has some gorgeous trails, and we would like to show them off to those not yet acquainted,” said Vince Bowers, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Program Supervisor. “This series allows us to do just that by offering adventure seekers a chance to maintain a healthy lifestyle by meeting new people and connecting with nature.”

The first run will take place at Riverview’s recently renovated Stephen J. Wortham Park on Saturday, September 29 at 8:30 a.m. with packet pick up from 7-8:15 a.m.

“Wortham Park was chosen this year due to the partnering of Hillsborough County’s Parks and Recreation and Conservation and Environmental Lands Management (CELM) Department’s staff who have been working diligently together to revitalize the park and its unique trails,” said Bowers.
“These beautification efforts are designed to not only accommodate the race, but also and more significantly, to reintroduce the park to the community by highlighting its stunning nature, exploration and recreation opportunities.”

The fee to enter the race is $25 and participants receive a t-shirt and medal for completing the race. There will also be a prize for the top three female and male participants.

According to Bowers, each race in the series will offer a different medal, unique to the park where the race is held.

“It is important to not only encourage and provide health and wellness opportunities, but also to expose the community to our precious natural parks and resources,” said Bowers.

For more information, call Bowers at 557-8272 or visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.

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Kate Quesada is the Multimedia Manager for the Osprey Observer Newspapers. She has been working for the paper in various positions since 2005 when she graduated with her Masters degree in mass communications. She lives in Valrico with her husband Mike and son Dylan.