If you’re looking for an opportunity to run through Maitland as Tom Sawyer or Pippi Longstocking, you’ll have your chance this month.
On Saturday, April 21, the Maitland Public Library will be hosting its inaugural 5k run at Quinn Strong Park in Maitland. Ellen Schellhause, director of library services, said the event is to raise awareness and funds for the library, as well as to get her staff involved in a fun activity.
Race participants are invited to dress up as their favorite literary characters. Schellhause hopes to raise enough funds to buy additional public computers for the library, as well as furniture to accommodate them. But she said there is no specific fundraising target for the event.
“We don’t have enough public computers, and they’re old,” she said. “We only have space for five, and we’d like to make space for 10.”
Maitland City Councilwoman Bev Reponen will be volunteering at the event. She said the library has experienced budget cuts in past years, and obtaining the necessary funds to obtain new computers has not been a possibility. She said the ability to raise money for this goal inspired her to participate.
Register for the 5k race attinyurl.com/MaitlandLibrary5kthrough April 19. Completed forms can also be brought in to the library along with a check or cash. Race day registration will open at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, and the 5k run will begin at 8 a.m.
The adult entry fee will be $25 until April 20, and $30 the morning of the race. There will be a free kids run for children ages 10 and younger. Participants older than 65, or younger than 18 can register for $15.
“I knew that the money would be well spent, that it would be directed where it was said to be directed, and it would be something that would enhance our community,” she said.
Schellhause said she would like to have at least 200 people attend the event, although she said the actual attendance could surpass that goal.
Fleet Feet Sports Orlando, a specialty store of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories, is also contributing its services to the run. Eric Bartos, who owns the store with his wife, Stacey, said his store provides services that go beyond the items they sell. “We do a lot of medical referrals where we get people into good shoes or over-the-counter orthotics; we do biomechanics analysis.”
He said they designed the course for the library and helped to guide library officials on how to put on an event of this nature. Fleet Feet will be timing the event.
“Timing can be expensive, so we’re donating it so that the library can generate as much funds as possible,” he said.
As for which literary characters we can expect to see racing through the park, Schellhause said there are some rumors.
“I heard Raggedy Ann might be running,” she said.