by Maureen Schweers
Alexandria, VA – The St. Rita 5K returns to the streets of Alexandria on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 30, for the 17th running of a much-anticipated fall event. “After a year when the pandemic put a stop to most in-person races, runners are eager to get back into their racing groove. The St. Rita 5K doesn’t disappoint when it comes to drawing some of the most talented local runners,” said race organizer Mark Malseed. “Over the years, the race has been won by Olympic Trials qualifiers and former NCAA Division I standouts, and grown from a motley group of a few dozen runners to more than 500 participants in 2019.” Mayor Justin Wilson was the honorary starter for the race in 2019, which saw Brian Rich of Washington, D.C., win in a blistering time of 15:21, with Taylor Tubbs of Sebring, Florida, taking the top women’s prize.
The family-oriented event, which raises money to support the St. Rita School PTO, includes both a 5K race and a 1K Fun Run for preschool and elementary ages. Many runners come decked out in the student-designed race t-shirt, which is complimentary for all registrants. Refreshments and a live DJ keep the crowd hydrated and entertained during the pre-race warm-up and post-race cool-down. The St. Rita 5K is known for its generous finisher prizes, awarding over $1,000 in cash and gift card prizes across all age brackets, along with medals to top youth finishers. Walkers and strollers are welcome too. Advance registration for the race is now open at StRita5K.com and is recommended. Limited same-day registration will be available from 7-8 am on Oct. 30.