GLADSTONE - Vast expansion plans are underway for an area running event this year.
The Grand Slam Fall Classic, which started with a five-kilometer run/walk a year ago, will add a 10-K run and half-marathon this time. Runners also have the option of participating in a four-person relay in the half-marathon.
The second annual event is set for Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. at Don Olsen Field in the Gladstone Sports Park.
"We want this to be the biggest offering in the area," said race director Steve O'Driscoll. "Between this and the (Delta County) Heritage, there will be two half-marathons in the area. That hasn't happened for a long time."
Last year's 5-K, held in late October, drew 84 runners and walkers.
"We put it together in about six weeks," said O'Driscoll. "We were very happy with the turnout. Now, we want to bump it up a little this year."
This year's event, scheduled basically a month earlier, should offer more favorable weather conditions for the runners.
"I looked on the Internet and saw our average high is 62 degrees and average low is 45 for that date," said O'Driscoll. "We're thinking the temperature for the start will probably be about 50. There should also be plenty of fall colors for everyone to enjoy."
Runners and walkers will follow paved country roads on all three courses, then will enter Olsen Field through a gate on the first base side and finish by rounding the remaining bases.
The event serves as a major fundraiser for the Gladstone High School Baseball Boosters, which is comprised of a seven-member board, manager Don Lauscher and the coaches and players.
"We're volunteer heavy," said O'Driscoll, a board member. "We've just finished our first year of fundraiser. This race and the Meet the Team Brunch are our two biggest fundraisers."
Raceday check-in and registration begins at 7:30 a.m.
Entry fee prior to Aug. 1 is $20 for the 5-K run/walk, $30 for the 10-K run, $50 for the half-marathon and $120 for the relay.
Fees then rise to $25 (5-K), $35 (10-K), $60 (half-marathon) and $160 (relay) through Sept. 21.
Late entries cost $30 (5-K), $40 (10-K), $70 (half-marathon) and $200 (relay) after Sept. 21.
Entry forms are available through the race director or online at www.ghsbb.weebly.com.
For more information contact O'Driscoll (428-2855 or 280-1895).