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Lots of Fun at Clifton Caboose Run

Twilight 5K and 1-mile fun run/walk are June 10.

It's not every race where even the last-place finisher gets a prize. But that's just what happens in Clifton's annual 5K race. After all, it is called the Clifton Caboose Twilight Run.

And it's almost time for the ninth annual 5K and 1-mile fun run/walk. It's on track for Saturday, June 10, at 6 p.m., on the outskirts of the Town of Clifton. And after the race, there's a picnic in Clifton's town park.

ENTRY FEES are $19 for the 5K and $14 for the 1-mile. Register online at www.SignMeUp.com/54169. Medals will be awarded to the top overall male and female participants and age-group winners.

Gary Anderson, owner of the Clifton Coffee Mill, is race director and also a participant. He's run in it, the past four or five years, and will run again, this year, too.

Some 436 people took part in last year's twilight run, raising about $7,000 to help purchase new playground equipment for the town park. This time, proceeds will benefit the Clifton Betterment Association (CBA), dedicated to improving the town and its surroundings.

Both the 5K and the fun run/walk begin and end at the triangle of Clifton and Neuman roads and Main Street. Dogs aren't allowed in the race, but strollers are OK. Reston Runners will time the racers and manage the finish line, and water and post-race refreshments will be provided for all the runners.

Pre-registered participants will also receive professionally designed, short-sleeved, commemorative T-shirts. Describing the design as "pretty cool," Anderson said it'll probably be a white T-shirt with an eye-catching caboose superimposed on a map of the D.C. area.

Packet pick-up/registration (cash/check only) is Friday, June 9, from 5-7 p.m., at the Clifton Coffee Mill, next to the Clifton Store on Main Street. Race-day registration and packet pickup is at the same place, from 4-5:30 p.m. For more information, see www.cliftonva.org or call 703-968-0740.

Parking will be available at the end of Chapel Street, in the flood plain off Main Street, at Clifton Elementary and at the Clifton House Shops on Chapel Road.

In the town park after the race, those who'd like to bring their own picnic dinners will be able to sit on the grass and eat while enjoying live, musical entertainment provided by Clifton's noted blues guitarist, Colin Thompson, and his band. And The Clifton Store will treat children to frozen, giant Popsicles.

"It's an evening race, followed by a great party in the park," said Anderson. "It's quintessential, small-town America, and the race is run in beautiful surroundings past horse pastures and rolling hills."