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Off to the races: Chigger Chase virtual run set for next week

Drew Butler
dbutler@gannett.com
The chigger tries to outrun contestants at a previous Chigger Chase

Like many other events in 2020, the Chigger Chase is going virtual this year due to coronavirus concerns. The event typically takes place on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and draws hundreds of runners and spectators into Regional Park, but people this year are encouraged to run when and where they want and post their times to the Chigger Chase Facebook page. 

Part of what makes the Chigger Chase special is getting to run beneath the decorations for the Festival of Lights, so organizers have come up with a way to make that happen without such a large crowd forming. The Festival opens on Saturday, November 21, but those who have signed up to run will be able to run before the official opening. On Tuesday, Nov. 17 and Thursday, Nov. 19, the park will be open to runners from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the chigger will be there both nights.

Runners can choose either of the nights to come out and the event will be set up as come and go to further maximize social distancing. Only those with official race bibs will be able to enter the park.

As in years past, the Chigger Chase has four different racing options for those of different skill levels. There will be a quarter-mile race and a half-mile race for kids, a one-mile fun run, and the 5K. For those who choose to run at Regional Park, all of these courses will be marked.

The cost to register for any of the races is $20, and can be purchased by visiting https://www.ardmorecity.org and clicking on Register Here and selecting Chigger Chase. The last day to register is Friday, Nov. 13 at 11:59 p.m. Packets will be available for pickup at The Clubhouse on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Monday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All funds raised during the Chigger Chase will go towards installing a splash pad at Regional Park by the pavilion near the playground.