Runners to face unpredictable weather in South Texas Sizzler

HARLINGEN — It’s that time again.

Time to sizzle in the January chill of South Texas. But then again, who knows? Saturday, when fitness aficionados participate in the South Texas Sizzler, they could be running through 40-degree weather or 80 degrees.

Either way, almost 800 people are expected to run in the event hosted by the Junior League of Harlingen, said Christina Araguz, race director.

“The event itself is a run,” said Araguz, a member of the Junior League. “We have it to promote and encourage our community to become healthier.”

The Sizzler will take place Saturday at the University Center on the Texas State Technical College campus. It will feature three runs. The Little Sizzler 1 Mile Fun Run will begin at 7:30 a.m. The Little Sizzlers are runners aged 14 and under. At 8 a.m. the 10K runners will take off, followed by the 5K runners at 8:10 a.m.

The route will include the new 25th Street Hike and Bike Trail.

“We are going to be running that route that features that trail so we can let people know about this new trail and show them what’s out there,” Araguz said.

Registration for the South Texas Sizzler began before Dec. 15, 2015, at $25 per person. Runners can still register at Footworks of Harlingen at 2224 U.S. Business 77, #94. The registration fee is now $35 for adults and $15 for “Little Sizzlers.”

Registration on Friday will take place at Footworks from noon to 7 p.m. On Saturday, runners can register at the University Center from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.

Funds raised through the event will pay for scholarships for women planning to attend college after high school graduation or those trying to complete college later in life, Araguz said. The money will also be used to fund KidFit, an event in April aimed at encouraging children to stay healthy.

Presented by the Junior League, the event features vendors and others promoting a fit lifestyle with the message, “Fit Mind, Fit Body, Fit Lifestyle.” Children also will be coached on healthy snacks and exercise.

There’s also a sock drive Saturday called “Sizzle In Your Hottest Socks and Bring A Pair to Donate.”

“We’re encouraging runners to come out wearing a fun pair of socks while they run, and also to bring some socks for children,” Araguz said.

Last year, the Junior League donated the socks to the Harlingen school district, which gave them to students in need. The League hasn’t decided yet who will receive the socks. She speculated they might divide them between several school districts.

The Junior League of Harlingen is a service organization of women, Araguz said.

For more information, call Araguz at 956-241-2535 or Footworks at 956-423-3131.