Main Street Ripley is cheering on their Race Committee as they introduce a Four Season Race Series as the signature fundraising event for the organization. This premiere event is being sponsored by none other than the great City of Ripley.

“We were delighted when Mayor Rader and the City Council members threw their support behind this event. It gave a huge boost to our event and bringing people in town to enjoy Ripley,” Interim Director Sally Blessing said. “It’s all about forming strong partnerships to keep Ripley moving forward.”

That’s the plan of the race committee, to get people moving with the development of a year-round racing calendar bringing race and walking enthusiasts new venues to stretch their legs.

The first event in the series will be held at 9 a.m. on March 7, with the “Springing It Forward 5K.”

“That day we spring clocks forward to welcome daylight savings time so it seemed the perfect time to kick off our series,” race committee member and avid runner Steve Sisson said.

Steve who runs in events across the state and beyond, with wife Debbie, a seasoned member of the Main Street Firecracker Two-Miler committee, travels across West Virginia and beyond to enjoy this sport.

In addition, a Partnership Walk will be held each race with the Jackson County Relay for Life team being the first partner. This walk will be a two-mile walk starting immediately after the runners leave the starting line. Naming this event “The County Pre-Game Walk,” Denise Toler stated that this opportunity to raise funds will be a warmup to the annual “Relay For Life” event to be held June 5, at the Washington Riverfront Park in Ravenswood.

“We are always searching for ways to honor our cancer survivors,” Toler said. “This event will welcome them to come out and be recognized.”

The 9 a.m. starting time for the “Springing it Forward 5K” event will begin with registration at 7:45 a.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church on North Street in downtown Ripley. Early registration for both events is accessible by going to mainstreetripley.org/4-season-race/.

Registration forms will be available, for both the walk and the run, at the Main Street Ripley Office, WVU Medicine / Jackson General Hospital, Ripley Insurance, and WesBanco in Ravenswood.

The series will consist of three additional seasonal events including the ever popular Main Street Ripley Firecracker Two-Miler. Going on 20 years of success, the event has been driven by the Groves Family.

“The Firecracker will be as big as ever,” Gene Groves said. “It has grown to be a highlight of Ripley’s Fourth of July Celebration. The runners love running in front of the crowds prior to the kickoff of the Fourth of July Parade.”

The third race in autumn, an idea of Ashley Hosaflook, will usher in the “Freekeee 5K” to be held on Saturday, Oct. 31, with runners and walkers being encouraged to wear costumes to compete.

The four race series will be completed with a New Years Day Run “The Hair of the Dog.” The theme is a perfect opportunity to have your favorite four-legged companion to join the fun.

All races will have a walk component. Registration and the starting line will be at Calvary United Methodist Church for each event. Calvary has opened their doors to these community events, providing great facilities for the participants.

Proceeds from each race will go to the continuing economic vitality efforts of Main Street Ripley, while proceeds from the walks will go directly to support the efforts of the partnering non-profit.

Main Street Ripley invites everyone to come out and run, walk, or cheer the event participants on with the enthusiasm that says “Ripley!