LAKE WYLIE -- Runners, start stretching. Only a handful of days remain before Lake Wylie's premier spring race in the 15th annual Splash Dash.
The 10K and 5K run or walk, presented by the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce and Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville, will be held rain or shine with an 8 a.m. start June 14 at Camp Thunderbird and River Hills Plantation.
"It's a wonderful event for showing the community through River Hills," said Charles Wood, event chairman. "It's certainly an outstanding community event."
This year, both races will have the same number of awards, beginning with overall first prize for the top male and female runners in each race. Then follow first-, second- and third-place awards for males and females in various age categories for a total of more than 120 awards and medals.
"That makes it more fun and competitive for people," said chamber president Susan Bromfield.
Since the event takes place on flag day this year, runners are encouraged to wear red, white and blue while residents along the course are encouraged to decorate their homes.
"We'll have flags out, and we want there to be red, white and blue all over," Bromfield said.
About 80 runners already registered, up from this time in past years, Bromfield said. Organizers expect about 200 runners, more than ever before. Generally, Splash Dash draws runners throughout the region and even overseas. Organizers expect a similar response this year.
"We'll have people from Atlanta, Asheville, sometimes Virginia and all around," Bromfield said. "We always find an interesting story in the crowd of people."
Wood said the 10K has always been the "star" component of Splash Dash, which became a ChampionChip race last year. Special computerized ChampionChip sensors will score each racer precisely from start line to finish line.
Wood said the 5K was added a few years ago to attract more runners and families.
"It's a fun event," Wood said. "We get a lot of chamber members to volunteer at the different turns to make sure the runners don't run afar."
Early registrations of $20 for the 10K or 5K races, or $5 for the 5K walk, run through June 12. Forms are available online at activezach.com. Same-day registration, beginning at 7 a.m. at One Thunderbird Lane, costs $25 for runners.
For more information about Splash Dash, call the chamber at (803) 831-2827 or visit lakewyliesc.com.