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The Great West Chase Returns Oct. 27

On your marks!

It’s time to lace up your shoes and join the fun as The Great West Chase’s 5K, 10K and Children’s Fun Run return to West Park Village on Saturday, Oct. 27. The 10K starts at 7 a.m.; the 5K kicks off at 8 a.m. and the Children’s Fun Run takes off at 9 a.m.

“It’s an wonderful Westchase event that brings families together to strengthen our community and celebrates the spirit of giving,” said Race Director Leslie Blaze.

Marking its 17th run, The Great West Chase will see over 1,300 runners over its three races, with many making the races their first.

“Our focus this year is to assist Davidsen Middle School, Center for the Arts,” said Blaze.

Race proceeds will fund not only Davidsen’s overall arts program but will also impact the school’s ESE and ESOL programs. “It will promote stronger learning among ESE students and increase English literacy among non-English speakers in Davidsen’s ESOL program,” said Blaze. “This will have a direct and positive impact on the school’s grade and community perceptions of Davidsen.”

Multiple volunteers are needed to help make the event a success, from preparing race bags to helping with early morning registration on race day. “This event takes the whole community from start to finish and any group or organization wanting to be a part of it is welcome,” said Blaze.

Interested volunteers can email greatwestchase@gmail.com

Each runner will receive a fun T-shirt with race mascot “Chase” and a finisher medals. After running, they’ll join a great post-race party.  Those who remain for the awards ceremony (recognizing the top three finishers, male and female, in five-year age groups) will participate in the race’s popular raffle. The Great West Chase also recognizes runners completing their first 5K or 10K.

While not required, the race enthusiastically welcomes runners who participate in fun and creative Halloween costumes.

Beginning in West Park Village at the base of Montague Street, the race proceeds west on Linebaugh Avenue (and, in the case of the 10K, north on Countryway Boulevard) before returning and finishing near its start.

Packet pickup for registered runners is Thursday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. at the Westchase Recreation Center, located at 9791 Westchase Dr., Tampa, FL 33626.

Please visit http://www.TheGreatWestChase.com for r,egistration and comprehensive race information, including course maps and road closures. A race registration form is included in this month’s inserts.

Business sponsors and volunteers are still needed to ensure The Great West Chase’s success. If you would like to sponsor the race or volunteer, please contact Leslie Blaze at greatwestchase@gmail.com for more information.

Road and Lane Closures

On Saturday, Oct. 27, road and lane closures will affect Westchase traffic from 6:45-9:30 a.m. If you have work, a sports game or an appointment the morning of the races, add 40 extra minutes for your drive. Deputies will allow traffic to pass on Linebaugh and Countryway Boulevard as the flow of runners permits.

Road Closure

Montague Street in West Park Village will be completely shut down beginning on Saturday at 5 a.m. and won’t open again to traffic until 10 a.m. Residents living in the West Park Village apartments should avoid parking on Montague Street the evening of Friday, Oct. 27, through noon on Saturday, Oct. 28. If you park on Montague Street on Friday night, you will be unable to move your vehicle until the races conclude on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Lane Closures

On Saturday, Oct. 27 beginning at 5:30 a.m. Linebaugh Avenue between Montague Street and Countryway Boulevard and Countryway Boulevard between Linebaugh Avenue and Northumberland Road (near the commercial development with Westchase Self Storage) will be reduced to one lane going in both directions from 5:30- 9:30 a.m. Countryway Boulevard south of Linebaugh Avenue will not be affected.

While the race is being run, deputies will repeatedly halt traffic on these roads to allow runners to cross intersections. Significant delays are likely so residents are encouraged to avoid these roads or leave at least 40 minutes early to ensure they arrive at their destinations on time. If you are on these roads between 5:30-9:30 a.m., you will experience delays. We thank you for your patience!

Please read on for ways to minimize your inconvenience.

West Park Village

Residents living in West Park Village to the west of Montague Street can use Tate Lane along the railroad tracks to reach roads east of the event. They can then proceed north to Linebaugh along Bentley Way and Cavendish Drive and proceed eastward along Linebaugh with no disruptions.

The Fords and The Bridges

To avoid Linebaugh lane closures, Fords residents should exit the community by entering Kingsford along Kingsbridge Drive, turn right onto Montague Street at Davidsen Middle School and then turn left onto Linebaugh Avenue at the Montague intersection.

Bridges residents should exit Montague and turn left onto Linebaugh as well.

The Greens

Residents of The Greens will exit Westchase most quickly by proceeding east (following deputies’ signals) on Linebaugh Avenue. Drivers can avoid any delays at the intersection of Montague and Linebaugh by crossing Linebaugh and entering The Fords (if deputies permit this). They can then enter Kingsford, turn right on Montague Street and left on Linebaugh Avenue.

Radcliffe

Radcliffe residents can exit Westchase most quickly by turning right on Linebaugh Avenue and left on Countryway Boulevard.

Neighborhoods off Countryway Boulevard

Neighborhoods off Countryway Boulevard should avoid Linebaugh and stretches of Countryway between Linebaugh and Race Track Road between 7-9 a.m. Villages south of Linebaugh can proceed south on Countryway and use Waters Avenue or Tampa Road/Hillsborough Avenue to reach their destinations.

Residents in The Shires will most quickly reach their destinations by turning right on Countryway Boulevard and then heading east or west on Race Track Road.

WOW Thanks Westchasers

We apologize for the disruption and delays and thank Westchasers for their understanding. This popular event, which will attract nearly 1,300 runners, helps promote Westchase as a vibrant community. The event will also result in a significant donation to help support Davidsen Middle School, Center for the Arts and it students who face challenges with learning.

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher Photos by James Broome Photography

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