Chase Race set for Saturday

More than 500 have registered for the 12th Annual Chase Race and Paws, which will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at Simon Park, 805 Front St. in Downtown Conway.

“This is the 12th anniversary of the Chase Race. Volunteers are working hard to make this year’s event the best one ever,” said Don Potter, Chase Race founder and race director.

“In addition to being the most unique race in the state of Arkansas, there will be a Pet Parade of Adoptable Dogs, and a free pet costume contest.”

The 2-mile state championship race awards a $100 cash prize to any runner who breaks the present course records. A complimentary 2018 entry form will be awarded to anyone who breaks an age group record.  

As of Wednesday morning, 540 had registered for the race, which will run on the same out and back course as last year.

“Any changes or special weather instructions will be posted on our website, and FB Chase Race and Paws. If there is lightning, we will have to wait for a clear window before we can start,” Potter said.

According to Potter, 125 first through fourth grade afterschool track program athletes have signed up for the race. “Dr Alan Lucas is underwriting this so they can enter for free. All will get a race shirt and medal.”  

In addition, the Conway Police Department’s newest K-9 dog will be introduced on the Kris Allen State around 9:30 a.m. “Guess what his name is? K-9 CHASE,” Potter said.

“All of this warms my heart. What a joy it will be to see 125 athletes jam the street with bright yellow tees, Dr. Lucas in the back, then the gun goes off and these young people head north on Front Street to the roundabout at Winfield and return, a 2-mile roundtrip.  

“Then we will introduce K-9 Chase to the participants and everyone gets to loudly greet him. What a blessed and great day. I know you can tell I am excited.”

All finishers will receive a unique Chase Race medal. Each person who registers will receive a technical neon yellow T-shirt. Male tees are unisex and female tees will have a V-neck.

Chase Race and Paws had its beginning March 11, 2006, as an event to celebrate the life of Donald Lee Chase Potter, 1991-2005. Chase’s parents, Don and the late Cheryl Potter, searched for a way to perpetually continue the legacy of their 13-year-old son who loved animals and suffered from traumatic brain injury. A tragedy has been turned into a commemorative fun event for runners, walkers, children, families and pets.  

The event has raised $135,000 since its beginning, with proceeds divided equally between Friends of Conway Animal Shelter and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Chase Race and Paws promotes and raises funds for non-adopted pets and research for adolescents with traumatic brain injury.

Chase Race and Paws includes:

•    A quality and competitive Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix Series championship two-mile race. This race is for runners/walkers only, no pets or strollers.  

•    The first three overall male/female walkers will be recognized again this year.

•    There is a separate one-mile fun or competitive event for runners/walkers with leashed pets.

•    Chip timing will be used in both events. A start/finish mat will be provided for the two-mile, gun time only for the one-mile (no start mat).

•     Registered runners/walkers can participate in both events.

•    There will be a “Paws” Pageant (best costume contest) for all pets.

•    Opportunities to adopt a pet.

Registration is open at Entry forms are also available at The Sporty Runner, 1016 Van Ronkle St. in Conway; Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center, 700 Salem Road in Conway; Rock City Running, 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock; and at Go! Running, 1819 N. Grant St. in Little Rock.