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The Great West Chase Returns Oct. 28

On your marks!

It’s time to lace up your shoes and join the fun as The Great West Chase 5K, 10K and Children’s Fun Run returns to West Park Village and Westchase on Saturday, Oct. 28. 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 event where families come together and the community celebrates the spirit of giving,” said Race Director Tracy Urso, “It’s the official start of the giving season in Westchase.”

Marking its sixteenth run on Saturday, Oct. 28, The Great West Chase will see over 1,300 runners over its three runs, with many making the races their first.

Last year race participants and sponsors helped raise $37,000 for Bellamy Elementary, a Title I school with a large number of disadvantaged kids. This year the race benefits another Title I school, Davis Elementary, which serves the Children’s Home. Eighty-nine percent of Davis’s students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Many of its kids don’t have books on shelves at home. Some even lack Internet access.

“The goal of the race has always been to raise funds for literacy and to put on the best race in Tampa Bay,” said Urso. “Each year we strive to fix even the smallest hiccup from the prior year.  We want each runner and every student who participates to know that a lot of preparation goes into this event.”

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 Urso.

Interested volunteers can email greatwestchase@gmail.com.

All runners will receive a great T-shirt with this year’s new mascot “Chase,” and 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 race also recognizes runners completing their first 5K or 10K.

While not required, the race enthusiastically welcomes runners who kick off the Halloween season by participating 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. 26, from 10 a.m - 1 p.m. and 3-8 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.

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 Tracy Urso at greatwestchase@gmail.com for more information.

Road and Lane Closures

On Saturday, Oct. 28, 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. 28 beginning at 6 a.m. Linebaugh Avenue between Montague Street and Countryway Boulevard and Countryway Boulevard between Linebaugh Avenue and Northumberland Road (near the commercial development with the Westchase Self Storage) will be reduced to one lane going in both directions from 6 a.m.- 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 6:45-9:30 a.m, you will experience delays.

Please see this article on http://www.westchasewow.com for tips on the quickest way out of Westchase neighborhoods during the event. 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 math and literacy programs for impoverished, at-risk kids attending Davis Elementary, a Title I school on Old Memorial Highwary whose students are later zoned to attend Davidsen Middle School.

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

By Tracy Urso, Race Director

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