Break out your running shoes and your Halloween costume and come on down to the 11th annual Goblin Gallop. It's this Sunday, Oct. 31, at the Fair Lakes Shopping Center.
The 1K fun run begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by the 5K at 9 a.m. Register online at www.signmeupsports.com or call the race line at 703-536-2027. More than $3,000 in prizes will be awarded, and all participants will receive black, glow-in-the-dark T-shirts with white, glowing ghosts.
ACTUALLY, the race is now officially called the Valvoline Instant Oil Change Goblin Gallop. But proceeds still go to the John Quadrino Foundation to Benefit Children with Cancer.
It's named in honor of race organizer George Quadrino's young son who died of cancer in 1985. All money received from the race funds grants to families of children with cancer.
"Last year, the foundation made nearly 300 grants totaling over $100,000," said Quadrino. "We'll do whatever we can to help."
The Goblin Gallop starts and ends in front of Jared's and Applebee's, and Quadrino expects 1,000 runners. Entry fees are $25 for the 5K and $20 for the 1K.
The course goes along the Fair Lakes Parkway, is USATF-certified and is part of the Dodge Grand Prix series. Dogs, strollers, baby joggers and headphones are not allowed in the 5K. (For more information, see www.goblingallop.org).
Prizes are awarded to the top three, male and female finishers overall and in age categories. Packet pick-up: Friday, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Gold's Gym, 10201 Main St., Fairfax; on race-day, at the registration desk.
"We distribute more than $300,000 in doorprizes — most donated by local merchants," said Quadrino. "They include Redskins tickets, restaurant meals and gift certificates. Our largest prize-contributor was Glory Days Grill."
SINCE THE Goblin Gallop is always run at Halloween time, many participants and onlookers come in Halloween attire. Race results are posted on www.racepacket.com.
In addition, Valvoline will bring its racecar simulator. "You can sit behind the wheel and pretend to drive, with a screen showing the road in front of you," explained Quadrino. "And they'll also bring their actual, Valvoline NASCAR racecar."
The band, Cold Steel Benders, will play classic rock, and refreshments will include bananas, bagels, juice, coffee — and 1,000 Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
Anyone just wanting to make a donation may send a check payable to The John Quadrino Foundation to P.O. Box 4614, Falls Church, VA 22044. Contributions are tax-deductible and may also be made via the Combined Federal Campaign/United Way by designating them for CFC/UW No. 8931.