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ALTON – Some 200 entrants took part in a milestone event for the Alton Road Runners Club Sunday morning.

The event was the 40th Hit-N-Run Pee-Wee Run at Gordon Moore Park, a non-competitive quarter-mile and half-mile road-race run; the event is the second leg of the Road Runners’ annual Summer Running Series and introduces participants to road-race type running.

The Pee-Wee Run, which has had area Hit-N-Run stores as its’ sponsor since the first one in 1979, is believed to be one of the oldest events of its type in the country – if not the oldest. Kids from ages six and up take part in the event, which attracts families from throughout the area.

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“We had a really big race-day turnout,” said Kathy Colona of the Road Runners Club. “We had a total of 200 entrants today – that’s one of our bigger ones; it was amazing. It’s amazing it’s gone on for 40 years, and with the same sponsor for 40 years. Hit-N-Run does such a great job for these kids.

“It says something about Hit-N-Run stores.”

Sunday morning’s conditions were near-perfect for the event, with abundant sunshine and temperatures in the low 60s. “I think we’ve pretty much figured out it’s never rained on us,” Colona said. “Not one time in 40 years; we’ve had clouds, we’ve had hot (weather) and a little cold, but I think we’ve stayed away from the rain every year.”

One of the attractions of the event is the fun atmosphere of the run; Hit-N-Run provides drinks for the participants and donates prizes for a post-run raffle, including bicycles, basketballs, footballs and other www.altonroadrunners.comitems.

The run has attracted generations of families since the start of the event. “We’re seeing grandkids of the kids who ran,” Colona said. “That’s pretty amazing; they keep coming back. They love this race – they kids come and have a good time.”

The Summer Running Series introduces young runners to various forms of running; the first event of the series, the BJC Memorial Hospital Family Run in Godfrey introduces youngsters to cross-country running, while the Pee-Wee Run introduces them to road-racing and the Dash-N-Glow (formerly the Dash-N-Splash), set for Aug. 4 at East Alton-Wood River’s Memorial Stadium, introduces kids to track and field-type running.

For more information on the Dash-N-Glow event and other Road Runners Club activities, visit www.altonroadrunners.com.

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