Er Ralston, the race director of the Beat the Heat 5K, loves how the race has evolved to become one of the top events in the state.

This year’s version will be July 20 near BB&T Field. The one-mile fun run will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the 5K for the amateur runners starting at 7 p.m. At 8 p.m. the USATF 5K Championship will be held with a field that includes the best pro runners in the state.

“This is the 30th year since the genesis of Beat the Heat and we are excited to continue doing more and more to make this a great race,” Ralston said. “Some of the new features this year include names on bibs and a live drone video feed of the championship race.”

The race doesn’t just cater to the professionals that compete for the state championship in the 5K, it also caters to the beginning runner and the avid runner.

“Over the past eight years, 662 people have run their very first 5K at Beat the Heat,” Ralston said. “We’ve begun promoting with the hashtag #my1st5k to recognize these participants, and with the hope of introducing more people to the thrill of road racing as a healthy activity and lifestyle.”

Sponsorship has helped make it more of an elite event, according to Ralston. Cook Medical has signed up to be a presenting sponsor for an additional three years, and more sponsors have signed up.

“We have added several new sponsors for 2019 including Sunshine Beverage and Foothills Brewing,” Ralston said. “Simply put, we could not put on this race with the generosity of so many community sponsors.”

Another facet to the Beat the Heat is the money it raises for worthy causes in the community. The race generates more than $12,000 for local charities that emphasize health and fitness.

“With a little more than six weeks to go, registrations are up 40 percent,” Ralston said. “We are on track for record-breaking attendance this year. We contribute this growth to the manner in which the race appeals to all types and levels of runners.”

Cowart runs a fast mile in Durham

Donnie Cowart of Winston-Salem ran a 4:16 mile at one of the Sir Walter Running pop up miles in Durham.

Cowart, who is a co-owner of the track program called Crazy Running, is a professional runner who won last year’s Beat the Heat 5K as he edged out Bobby Mack.

Cowart beat Matt Blivin, who ran 4:17 in the pop up mile.

Women’s Only 5K

in Greensboro

Registration for the 27th Annual Women’s Only 5K Walk & Run is now open. Proceeds from this event help area women detect and battle breast cancer.

The Women’s Only takes place Saturday, Oct. 5, at Women’s Hospital in Greensboro.

Proceeds will benefit the Mammography Scholarship Fund and the Cone Health Alight Program. The Mammography Scholarship Fund provides screening mammograms to women who are uninsured or lack the financial means to pay for the screening. The Alight Program helps with the everyday needs of breast cancer patients in treatment, such as financial assistance, educational materials, peer mentoring and support groups.

Twin City Track Club $5 5K

Runners do not have to be Twin City Track Club members to race. Runners can pre-register or sign up before the race near the start/finish line.

Race directors and readers can submit suggestions for notes on running, triathlon, cycling and other endurance sports to

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