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Lacing 'Em Up

Annual Reston Runners race for charity kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 13.

<bt>This weekend Reston’s roadways will be clogged, but, for a change, the early morning gridlock will be of the two-legged not four-wheel variety. As many as 1,000 runners and walkers are expected take to the streets on Dec. 13 as part of the Reston Runner’s ninth annual charity race. Beginning at South Lakes High School, the “Fall Into Winter Run/Walk” will consist of two different courses: a 10K timed race on Reston roads and a 5K fitness run and walk along Reston’s wooded pathways, organizers said. This year, proceeds from the event will benefit the Joy of Sports Foundation (JSF), a national organization that promotes health lifestyles for children, including many children in the Reston area. “The Joy of Sports Foundation mainly serves at-risk children by teaching them life skills through sports,” said Cyndy Porter, a JSF board member and member of Reston Runners.

Race trainers will be out along the race route on Saturday demonstrating some of the programs available to targeted children.

“We are excited to co-sponsor the [race] with Reston Runners. Both organizations are committed to promoting health and fitness,” said Andrew Oser, founder and president of JSF. “Joy of Sports programs which aims to help at-risk kids becoming physically active and fit, eat healthier foods and build self-esteem, are in line with the Reston Runner’s message of ‘fitness for life.’ The funds raised through this race will support our efforts to make a positive impact in children’s lives.”

Whether you are a hard-core dedicated distance runner or a part-time ‘weekend warrior,’ there is something for everyone at the annual race, Cyndy Porter said. “A few years ago, Reston Runners made a conscious decision to include walkers and we have had a huge response,” she said. “The weather looks like it is going to cooperate, so anyone who wants to come out and enjoy the fresh winter is invited to do so.”

Porter’s husband, Jack, has been running since 1976 and has been running in Reston since he moved there in 1987. The annual holiday race is something he and many of the other 800 members say they look forward to every year. While this marks the 29th annual Reston Runners road race, it is the ninth annual holiday season charity race. Originally, it was linked with the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run, Jack Porter said. “This is our biggest event and the Reston community always comes out and really supports us every year,” he said. “When the Arthritis Foundation backed out of Reston, we felt it was important to keep running the race for charity and to keep the race at this time of the year.”