Pinwheel 5K race at Benderson Park to benefit Family Partnership Center

srocco@bradenton.comApril 18, 2014 

UNIVERSITY PARK -- With the Color Vibe 5K in town the same day, organizers of Saturday's Pinwheel 5K Run and Elite Fitness Challenge are concerned they won't have as many participants as anticipated.

The Color Vibe 5K, a national 5K fun run series where runners are doused in colorful powders, will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch. That event is expected to draw 5,000 participants.

Over at Nathan Benderson Park, the inaugural Pinwheel 5K will begin at the same time.

The 5K chip-timed run/walk route circles the rowing venue. There is also a series of dashes for children ages 3-12 beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The coolest part about the Pinwheel 5K is a CrossFit-style fitness competition, where participants complete strenuous activities associated with the popular program. The Elite Fitness challenge starts at 10 a.m.

Organizers are hoping for nearly 350 people at the race, said director Douglas

Schiller.

"We're running up against the (Color Vibe) trying to get as many people as we can to come to our event," he said.

Registration, which includes the event, a T-shirt and after-party barbecue, is $30 now through the day of the race.

Proceeds benefit the Family Partnership Center, a nonprofit organization that supports families and protects children by arranging in-home and group parenting education programs. The Center helps nearly 3,500 parents and children each year in Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties.

"The money will go toward our overall program to get families off the wait list for in-home family programs," said Katrina Bellemare, executive director of the Family Partnership Center. "We go into homes weekly and work with families one-on-one to work on family strengthening."

The race gets its name from "Pinwheels for Prevention," a national campaign that uses the pinwheel as a symbol for preventing child abuse.

Registration begins 7 a.m. at Benderson Park, 2500 N. Honore Ave.

Sabrina Rocco, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024. Follow @sabrinarocco on Twitter.

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