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Run, fishing derby set for city park

The Van Buren City Park will be busy Saturday morning with a 5K run, one-mile fun run for walker and a kids’ fishing rodeo.

Boys and Girls Club of Van Buren will hold its first 5K run and fun walk. Van Buren Rotary Club will sponsor its annual Wiggle and Giggle kids fishing rodeo from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lake Cap Bedell for children 16 and under if accompanied by an adult.

The fishing rodeo will include lots of prizes and contests. Snacks and drinks will be available at family friendly prices.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will stock the lake with more than 500 catfish.

Saturday’s Boys and Girls Club of Van Buren 5K run will feature the latest in timing technology.

The event beginning at 8 a.m. in the city park will be a chip-time 5K, a first for a local event, according to Jim Petty, chief volunteer officer for the club.

Chip time is another way of saying “net time,” or the actual amount of time it takes a runner to go from the starting line of a race to the finish line, Petty said.

Many races feature a timing technology in which all participants run with a computer chip attached to their running shoe.

“When you register for a race, you receive your borrowed chip, programmed with your information, at the same time you get your race bib,” Petty said. “The chip usually attaches to your shoelaces, although some are connected to a Velcro strap that goes around your ankle. At the end of the race, someone will be there to collect the chip from you.”

When a runner moves across a special mat at the starting line, the chip registers the runner has started the race.

“Then, as you cross the finishing line, the chip registers that you’ve finished the race,” Petty said. “In other words, the amount of time that it takes you to reach the starting line doesn’t count in your overall time.”

In some cases of very large races, it can take runners at least 20 minutes to reach the starting line, he said.

“Your chip time is different than your gun time, which is the amount of time it took you to finish the race from the moment the gun or horn went off,” Petty said. “As a result, runners at the start can line up where it’s appropriate for their pace, instead of trying to push their way to the front.”

The 5K will begin at the club, head east on City Park Road, right on 20th Street, turn around King Elementary School parking lot, left back on 20th Street, left on Baldwin Street, right on 23rd Street (loops around and changes into 24th Street), left on Alma Boulevard, right on Rudy Road (changes into 24th Street), left on Maple Street, right on City Park Road and end at the club.

The benefit for the boys and girls club also will include a one-mile fun run for walkers. It will circle Lake Cap Bedell in the city park.

Race-day registration of $25 and packet pickup will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday.

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