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Goblin Gallop Race is Sunday

Proceeds help families of children with cancer.

Get ready for fun! Halloween costumes, a race and a chance to raise money for a good cause — it's all part of the Goblin Gallop.

And the 13th annual Goblin Gallop 5K Race and 1K Fun Run is this Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Fairfax Corner Shopping Center, off West Ox Road and Monument Drive. The fun run starts at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K, at 9 a.m. Register online at www.Active.com.

BESIDES THE prizes awarded to the top finishers, more than $3,500 in door prizes are given away, plus awards for the best costumes. A live band, The Sparkplugs, will play classic rock, and refreshments will be available.

And everyone participating in the Goblin Gallop will receive a commemorative, chocolate-brown T-shirt decorated with a glow-in-the-dark haunted house with ghosts flying out of the windows.

"It's a family-fun event, a competitive race that attracts the top runners in the area and something that raises money for families of children with cancer," said event organizer George Quadrino.

His son John died of the disease in 1985 at age 7, and all the race proceeds go to the John Quadrino Foundation to Benefit Children with Cancer. Last year the foundation made nearly 300 grants totaling more than $100,000. They help parents struggling with other expenses because of their children's illness.

Since the Goblin Gallop is always run at Halloween time, lots of the runners and walkers — and those cheering for them — come in costume. And seeing all the colorful and creative costumes is always a highlight.

Rain or shine, the event begins and ends in front of Coastal Flats restaurant. Entry fees are $25 for the 5K and $20 for the 1K. (For more information, see www.goblingallop.org).

The course is USATF-certified, and prizes valued at $150, $100 and $50 are awarded to the top three, overall, male and female finishers. Prizes are also given to the top three male and female finishers in various age categories. And all children participating receive runner's medals on ribbons to wear around their necks.

Some 1,125 people participated in last year's race, raising more than $30,000 for the John Quadrino Foundation, and both totals are expected to increase this time. Race-day packet pick-up is 7-8:30 a.m. at the registration table.

No dogs or headphones are allowed in the 5K, but walkers are welcome in both the 1K and 5K. Capital Running Co. will handle scoring and results, and the awards ceremony will be on the stage in front of Coastal Flats.

Because of the race's headline sponsor, it's actually called the Valvoline Instant Oil Change Goblin Gallop, and results will be posted that afternoon on www.runwashington.com.

After the race, there'll be a massage table, and Gold's Gym will hand out free passes. A whole slew of door prizes will be awarded, and children can visit the pumpkin patch with Halloween decorations and cornstalks.

To donate to the organization, send checks 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.