Canes Cross Country Classic is a Labor Day tradition

jtate@bradenton.comAugust 31, 2013 

BRADENTON -- The 21st annual Canes Cross Country Classic, a 5K race, will kick off at 8 a.m. Monday at G.T. Bray park in Bradenton.

More than 400 runners are expected to take part, said organizer and Manatee High School cross country coach Rae Ann Darling Reed.

"It's the oldest, longest running event in Manatee," said Darling Reed. "It makes it unique. It's always on Labor Day."

The race is hosted by the Manatee High School cross country teams.

"Coaches, athletes and parents make the event happen," said Darling Reed.

The route will loop in and around the park and will start a few feet off of 51st Street West.

Although online registration closed Friday at noon, Darling Reed said that runners can register the day of the event. The fee then will be $40 to participate in the 5K race and $20 to participate in the 1K race, which is designated for kids, but adults can also run or walk in it.

The proceeds from the event go to helping the

Manatee High cross country team fund their traveling expenses and meet entry fees. After the season ends, if there is money left over, Reed said the athletes donate it to a charity of their choice that the students vote on. Last year, they gave to the Monson, Mass., tornado relief fund.

Jessica Jones, girls cross country team captain, said that the students get involved with the organizing and assist on the day of the race.

"We want to make sure everything goes well," said Jones, 17. "We're all stuffing goodie bags and we will help set up the race."

The team will hand out refreshments at the end of the race that have been donated by sponsors. Each registered participant will be entered into a raffle, and winners in each category will get a trophy.

G.T. Bray park is at 5502 33rd Ave. Drive W. For more information, visit www.CanesClassic.com.

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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