2014 Pirates on the Run!The Pirates Are Coming! … and they’re bringing you the pirate booty. This is one of Northeast Florida’s most colorful races, and a great bargain!

Presented annually by the Amelia Island Runners http://www.ameliarunners.com/club. the 2014 Ned Tyson Memorial Pirates on the Run 5K/10K is Saturday, February 8th, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 801 Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach. Both the 5K and 10K courses feature cross-country segments through the unpaved Egans Creek nature trail; it is a hard packed trail, but it may be muddy in places if it has been raining.

Pirates in full regalia will cheer you on and reward finishers with Mardi Gras beads! Registration is as low as $15 for members of the running club and $20 for non-members, and the first 500 registered runners and walkers receive a short-sleeve technical t-shirt, and all registered runners and walkers get a free pancake breakfast after the race ($5 for non-running or walking guests). It’s tons of pirate fun, and a great deal!

“It’s one of the best bargains that runners and walkers will find in our community,” said volunteer Race Director Toby Lentz.

Scoring will be done with Champion Chip timing, and runners must wear a chip on their shoe to be timed in the race results. Disposable chips will be used, so they don’t need to be returned after the race. You can pick up your chip at the same time you get your race packet, and if you have your own chip, you can preregister with your chip number and deduct $2 from your entry fee. (Personal chips can’t be used if you sign up on race day.)

Strollers and dogs aren’t allowed on the race course, and headphones are discouraged. The Greenway surface is especially non-conducive to strollers.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Pirates on the Run, which is run and walked in memory of Ned Tyson, who come up with the idea for the event.

“The first race was run in 2004, and it was scheduled in February because it was a quiet time on the island and we hoped to grow it into a regional event, when families might spend a night or two and visit the downtown area,” said Fernandina Beach City Manager Joe Gerrity. Tyson, Gerrity and Steve Nicklas organized the inaugural 10K run, with “help from many volunteers,” Gerrity said.

“The next year Ned wanted us to have a Super Bowl-sanctioned event” in conjunction with the Super Bowl being held in Jacksonville, Gerrity said. “The process was very difficult, since each event had to get approval from the Super Bowl committee,” which was an involved process. “We finally did get approval and the Super Bowl emblem appeared on the t shirt that year.”

“As the race grew, it really became too much for us to handle since we all worked full time, so we asked Amelia Island Runners if they would be interested in sponsoring the run. I guess the rest is known history!,” Gerrity said. The event has grown into a 5K/10K with hundreds of runners and walkers.

Ned Tyson died in 2010, and the race was subsequently named in his honor.

Awards will go to the overall male and female winners, masters (age 40 and up) and grandmasters (age 50 and up), and to the top three male and female finishers in 15 age groups. There won’t be duplicate awards.

Registration is $20 per person through Jan. 22, and $25 per person from Jan. 23 through race day. Members of Amelia Island Runners get a $5 discount (not available with online registration). Proceeds will benefit Amelia Island Runners’ youth scholarships and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church mission trips.

Entry forms also available at Current Running, 815 S. 8th St., the McArthur Family YMCA on Citrona Drive, and CLUB 14 FITNESS on South 14th St. You can drop off entry forms at Current Running as well.

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