River City Classic to be held Feb. 26

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 19, 2000

Who will be the first winner of the 22nd annual Taco Bell River City Classic? That question will be answered Feb. 26.

Chances are if Chuck Engle of Clinton shows up, he’ll be a heavy favorite.

Engle became the third repeat men’s winner last year at the age of 28.

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Engle finished with a time of 32:29, which was 13 seconds off the record time of 32:16 set by Joseph Curro of Vicksburg in 1992.

Petra Staskova of Mobile, Ala., won the women’s event in a record time of 38:10.

&uot;We’re expecting another competitive field,&uot; said Taco Bell River City Classic organizer Wayne Potter. &uot;This race has become a well known premier event in the running and walking circles of the Miss-Lou area and has been sanctioned by the Mississippi Track Club as a Grand Prix event.&uot;

The race starts on the Mississippi River Bluff beginning at 9 a.m. The day’s events consist of a 10K (6.2 miles) run, a 5K (3.1 miles) walk, both of which begin at 9 a.m. at Broadway and Main Streets.

A one-mile run will be held following the completion of the 10K run.

The pre-registration fee for the 10K run and 5K walk is $15 per person, and $18 per person on race day. Each participant in the 10K run and 5K walk will receive a T-shirt commemorating the event.

Trophies are awarded to the first, second and third place finishers in the various age divisions for men and women in both the 10K run and 5K walk. The entry fees supplement the contributions of the sponsors, Taco Bell, United Mississippi Bank, International Paper Company, Potter Garcia Management Group and Bluff City Striders Running Club, in covering the expenses associated with the event.

The entry fee for the 1 mile run is $3 per person, and all proceeds from the 1 mile run benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Mississippi Chapter. Trophies are awarded to the first, second and third place finishers in each age category.

Awards are also given in the 10K run and 5K walk for the first, second and third place overall finishers, both male and female, and first overall in the male and female masters and grand masters division. All events are directed by the Mississippi Track Club.

A $250 cash prize for the course record is being offered in the 10K run and 5K walk for both male and female participants.

The male course record for the 5K walk was set in 1999 by Dave McGovern of Mobile at a time of 21 minutes, 43 seconds. The female course record for the 5K walk was set in 1997 by Barbara Duplichain, Richland at 25 minutes, 45 seconds. Duplichain is a seven-time winner of this event.

Information and registration brochures are available at the offices of Potter Garcia Management Group, 296 Highland Boulevard; The Sports Center, 107 Martin Luther King; and United Mississippi Bank, 203 South Commerce, Natchez, Miss., 39120. Spectators are encouraged to join in the festivities. Contact Chris McCary at (601) 446-6090 or e-mail her at cmccary@shanapetroleum.com for additional information.