Race series promotes yearlong commitment

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For the fourth year in a row, Sumter area runners will be able to sign up for a series of races at a discount rate.

The 2016 Sumter Series allows runners to register for eight major running events in the City of Sumter for $100.

That represents a significant savings for participants who would normally be charged about $25 for each race.

By signing up, runners receive a T-shirt for each event and one for the Sumter Series, which will be a long-sleeve, dry wick shirt this year.

Bronwyn McElveen, an assistant solicitor for the South Carolina Third Judicial Circuit, said she thought of the idea after serving on numerous committees that organized races. She noticed that many of the races were using the same timing company, vendors sponsors and other promoters which would allow all races to benefit from automatically registering people for all events.

The series started with six races in 2013 with the goal of highlighting healthy lifestyles, promoting physical fitness, encouraging series members to bring family and friends to participate in the events and helping to grow smaller events that have had initial success.

McElveen said the $100 registration commitment makes a great gift idea for friends and family because, not only does it commit someone for the series, it encourages them to train and maintain fitness for the entire year.

To be eligible to join the Sumter Series calendar, a run must have been in existence for at least one year, all directors must unanimously agree to the addition and money raised at each event must go to benefit a local organization. In other words, the money must stay in the community.

With those unique requirements, the city has blessed the series and assists race organizers by offering registration and promotion of the race series and individual events on the city's website, www.sumtersc.gov. There you'll find a listing of the races under the recreation department's heading.

The city not only promotes the series, it generates printed material and offers locations to drop off and collect registration fees.

Besides the City of Sumter, other sponsors for the series include Anytime Fitness, Young Professionals of Sumter, Sumter Family YMCA and Palmetto Health.

For more information about the series or other recreational activities, contact Susan Wild at (803) 774-1651 or by email at swild@sumter-sc.com.