With Trout Days just a little over a week away, residents around Preston, Harmony and beyond prepare for the new event introduced this year - a 5-kilometer run - to be held on Saturday, May 17, at 9 a.m.

For many years, Trout Days has not included a run of any sort for residents of the area. Once upon a time, Trout Days did host Trout Trot, in which kids and adults would race around town. However, Jennifer Lindstrom, the director of the 5K run, did not know when the Trot fizzled out.

Over the years, there has been some interest in starting a traditional event of a 5K run in conjunction with the Preston celebration. It was not until this year that those sparks of interest came to fruition by the newly formed Fillmore Central Booster Club.

"I am not a runner, but I suggested having a 5K run for Trout Days back in January. When I said that, the board gave me the responsibility to plan it," Lindstrom said.

The route for the run starts at the Preston Trailhead. Heading west on the trail, going toward Forestville, the run will turn around at the halfway point shortly before the trail ends.

"There are around 50 people who have already pre-registered, and most of them are families with kids, which makes me happy," Lindstrom commented. "Our goal is to have 75 to 100 people participate in the run and I hope that more people will have signed up between now and then."

There are about 10 to 15 volunteers who will oversee the event that day. Several will be at the registration table, but there is also a paramedic lined up in case of any injuries.

Anyone, no matter the age, is welcome to participate in the event. And by no means is the 5K limited to just runners. People can run or walk at their own pace and they do not have to be from this area.

Any number of people can be involved as well. Residents of Harmony or other places in the region are welcome to join in the fun. Lindstrom has even received a registration from a participant from Stewartville.

The main purpose for this event is to encourage people to get outdoors and exercise and to learn about the Fillmore Central Booster Club or joining the club.

Those who wish to participate in the 5K are encouraged to register for the event. If registering before or on Friday, May 16, the fee is $25 per person. Those who already registered prior to Friday, May 2, will receive a Falcon 5K T-shirt. Registration is also available beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, with a fee of $30. For a family, the limit is $60. The run will then begin at 9 a.m.

The Booster Club is the main force behind the run, although businesses may have donated items for snacks and beverages at the end of the race. Since the club is so new, the members are hosting the run as an opportunity to raise money for supporting the school's sports programs.

"A wish list of items has been started and more input will be gathered once we have had our summer fundraisers," Lindstrom related.

Though the trek begins at 9 a.m., there will be other events for Trout Days beginning around the same time, such as the kid's fishing contest. As this is the first year for the event, comments and input about the run will be welcome to further develop and improve the event in the future.

"We want it to be a successful event that can continue on through the years and maybe attract more people even from different areas. It is another way for families to enjoy the activities of the weekend while getting out and getting some exercise," Lindstrom stated.

In order to pre-register for the run, one can simply download the form from the Fillmore Central School website. The registration form will be under the Booster Club tab. That form should then be returned to either of the school offices, in Harmony or Preston.

If registering for the run on Saturday, May 17, there will be a table set up for it at the trailhead. In the event of a rainy day, Lindstrom said there has not yet been a discussion as to whether they would reschedule the run or go ahead with it. In any case, the 5K offers residents of Preston and Harmony and beyond a great kick-starter for the summer season while supporting the sports and events for Fillmore Central and Trout Days.