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January 24. 2013 12:44AM

New February 5K in Bedford fills up in three days

Twelve days ago on Millennium Running's Facebook page, organizer John Mortimer posed this question.

"Hypothetically, say Millennium Running was to plan a 5k race this February complete with a free hoodie and post race beer to keep you warm, would you run it???"

Exactly 272 people responded that first day, including 126 with comments, many of them urging Mortimer to organize it.

Last week Mortimer officially announced registration was open to the first 1,000 entrants and in just three days, the event was filled by Sunday.

A race was born.

Millennium Running's 5K Snowflake Shuffle is set for Sunday, Feb. 10 at 9:30 a.m. in Bedford. The starting and finish line will be at the Copper Door Restaurant on 15 Leavy Drive.

Mortimer, reached Wednesday in Cancun, Mexico, said it was the runners who inspired him to create this race.

"People were asking me whether I knew of any February road races," said Mortimer. "I said no, but we're going have one from this point on if the runners want one."

Mortimer explained few road races are held in February because organizers are wary of winter conditions, especially snow and ice on the roads. But when runners were looking for a 5k race, Mortimer said he had to take notice of it.

"I've always been inspired by the population of runners that have caught on to the culture," he said. "I constantly see and hear how running makes them feel good about themselves. People care about their health, being more fit. This race gives people an opportunity to keep training during the winter time."

Mortimer said there are no elite runners in this race.

"Running isn't just for runners," said Mortimer. "It's not about whether you compete, but rather complete. For many it's a great time for friends to get together, especially right after they completed the race."

Now in his 14th overall year of organizing races, Mortimer said he has "never been snowed out once. That's a pretty good track record to have, but just in case, I'll have a (weather) date for this race."

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