Running shoes, water bottle, athletic clothing and a good attitude: put all of these on the checklist to prepare for the upcoming Double Decker Spring Run 5k or 10k and the Kids Fun Run. The three-race event will begin April 25 at 7:30 a.m. Pam Swain, the race director, is excited for the upcoming event.
“This is actually our 20th annual event,” Swain said.
The annual race was started in conjunction with the Double Decker Festival in 1996.
“We are both celebrating 20 years this year. When the festival was organized, we, the Chamber of Commerce, felt like, along with tourism, there needed to be a healthy component to the events for the weekend.”
Swain said the biggest factor to deciding on the addition of the Spring Run was the type of community Oxford is. “Seeing as our community is such a running and walking community, we decided at that time to start the Double Decker Spring Run.”
The Double Decker Spring Run has “grown tremendously” since the first time the event was introduced, Swain said. Swain took control of the run in 2003. At the time, the race consisted of only about 300 runners. Since then, it has more than quadrupled in size.
“This past year in 2014, we had 1,200 runners,” Swain said. “Our numbers are trending really high above where we were at this point last year. We expect to hit 1,300 or 1,400 runners this year.”
The Spring Run, despite originally being geared for the Oxford community, has branched out across much of the continental United States.
“We generally have people coming to this race from about half of the states in the nation,” Swain said. “Somewhere from around 22 to 25 states are represented in our registration numbers. It’s really cool.”
Some of the draw to come race miles from home may be due to the prizes presented to the winners.
“For all of our age category winners in both the 5k and the 10k, places first, second and third, we have one-of-a-kind pottery pieces that are created by the Mud Daubers on campus,” Swain said. “They are really, really neat pieces.” Swain said the pottery pieces are specifically designed for the race winners.
“It’s just a great way to, on an art weekend, take a little bit of art home to represent something a runner really, physically did themselves.”
There are cash prizes of $200 for category winners, and, of course, bragging rights on the table as well.
The courses loop around the Square and through The University of Mississippi campus. The races start and end on Lamar Boulevard.
Pam Swain encouraged everyone to come out and try their luck in the Spring Run.
“It’s such a fun weekend where our community really comes together,” she said about Double Decker weekend. “People come into our community to be a part of a memorable weekend. To be able to kick off that weekend that morning with something that is good for your body, that is healthy, that is fun, and that’s also a bit of a challenge for some people. It’s just a great way to start out your Double Decker Day.”
Race Day Registration opens at 6:15 a.m. on race day and closes at 7:15 a.m. Registration for both the 10k and 5k race is $35 dollars. Registration for the kids’ one mile race is $15.
More information about the Double Decker Spring Run, including course maps and the full schedule of race events, can be found at www.doubledeckerspringrun.com, and questions and concerns can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We just encourage people to come and be a part of something that’s fun, something that’s active,” Swain said. “You know, you don’t have to be a competitor. You don’t have to be someone who is in it for the best time. It’s just something that’s for anyone who is in for a good time and to make themselves feel great to start out the day a little healthier.”