The Madison County Recreation Department is moving forward with plans for the 27th annual Reindeer Run at Arnold Park in Comer Dec. 5.

Registration is open and being accepted for the 5K race that will wind its way through the city of Comer. Starting and ending in Arnold Park, participants will take the same route as previous years. Race participants of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to run, jog, or walk the course. Awards will be given out to overall male/female, master’s male/female, and the top three male/female winners in each age group.

New to this year’s race is a virtual option to participate. Individuals who would rather run the race by themselves or with a smaller group can still register and submit their time to be included in the race results.

“We wanted to offer an alternative opportunity for the community to participate in the Reindeer Run if they were concerned about COVID. Those who register for the virtual option have a week to run a 5K — or 3.1 miles — on a course of their choosing. Once participants run their 5K, they can log their time using the link on our website,” said director Shelley Parham. “Virtual participants won’t be eligible for race-day awards but their times will be recorded in the official race results.”

Other COVID precautions include a 300-person race capacity, and depending on how many people register, staggered start times may be implemented.

The schedule for race day includes check-in at 7:45 a.m., starting line announcements at 8:55 a.m., and the starting gun at 9 a.m. After the race concludes, refreshments will be provided and awards will be passed out for the various age groups.

“We’ve been receiving mail-in registration forms on a daily basis for the past few weeks, so we’re excited to see everyone again this year for a successful race—whether they’re with us in person or virtually,” Parham stated. “Remember to register early to receive a race shirt!”

Those looking to register for the in-person or virtual option can do so by visiting the recreation department’s website. Both online registration and mail-in registration options are available. Individuals must register by Nov. 20 in order to receive a race T-shirt, but registration will be accepted up until Dec. 3. Registration will not be taken the day of the race. Visit www.madcorec.com/reindeerrun for more information and to register.

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