Walk For Christ event to return for second year with Home Run Derby in Pelham

Published 8:57 am Friday, February 23, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer 

PELHAM – The Walk For Christ will make its first return to the city of Pelham in a larger, more developed sequel to its original iteration that promises to feature more events and opportunities for community fellowship and friendly competition on April 6.

The event, which is being billed as The Walk For Christ And 5K with Home Run Derby this year, will take place at the Pelham City Park located at 2020 Ball Park Road and will incorporate a number of activities for the community to partake in and get active.

“Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just enjoy a leisurely stroll, this event is open to people of all ages and fitness levels,” read an event description on the event’s Facebook page.

The event, as with last year’s outing, is organized by Pelham Strong and is being presented with support from the Kiwanis Club of Central Shelby County and the Liberty Learning Foundation. The Riverchase Church of Christ will also return this year as the title sponsor for the event.

The day’s 5K race will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the one-mile fun run or walk at 9 a.m. Both races will be chip timed to measure and track each racer’s position as it relates to the pack and placement in the race outcomes. An awards and recognition ceremony will be held following the two races at 9:30 a.m.

Those registering for either race will receive a finisher medal, individually numbered bib, chip timer, event T-shirt and admission to the event’s Home Run Derby.

Those interested in taking part in both races are encouraged to register as soon as possible. To encourage this, participants for the event are being granted a $10 discount for early-bird registrations that occur before March 15. Currently, with the discount in place, registrations for the 5K cost $35 per person and participation in the one-mile fun run will cost $25.

The event will also feature virtual options that will allow those who are unable to attend physically to support the event and its causes from anywhere.

Following the two races, focus will then shift toward the addition of the Home Run Derby Competitions, beginning at 10 a.m., and showcase 8U, 10U and 12U Pelham Rec player. Additional public groups, limited to 15 registered participants per age group, will also be able take part beginning at 11:30 a.m. at a cost of $7 per person, with the following scheduled breakdown:

  •  11:30 a.m. – age 14-15 – 50 MPH – 160 feet distance
  •  Noon – age 16-17 – 50 MPH – 180 feet distance
  •  12:30 p.m. – 18 plus – 50 MPH – OVER THE FENCE (200 feet) distance

“Each participant will receive 1 minute to hit as many home runs as possible, and each participant will be able to take one 30 second break at any point during their one minute,” read the event description. “Your age will be based on the age as of the day of the event April 6, 2024. All pitches will come from a pitching machine. All rounds will take place on Field 4 at the Pelham City Park.”

Hitters will be required to provide their own helmets, and must have one to participate in the event. Although bats of all sizes and types will be provided, hitters will be allowed to bring their own on the condition that they are wooden and inspected prior to play.

The Pelham Fire and Police Departments will also conclude the event with their own head-to-head home run derby contest at the conclusion of this event at 1 p.m.  For every $10 raised at the event, an additional second will be added onto the clock to aid in their efforts.  The department with the most baseballs hit over the fence, a distance of 200 feet, will be declared the winners.

Sponsors for the event will include Half Shell Oyster House and Shelby Pediatric Dentistry.

Summer Snow Pelham and Saw’s Street Kitchen will also be in attendance to provide attendees with refreshments and food to fuel the day of fun.

All gathered proceeds for the event will be used toward donations to the Liberty Learning Foundation, which serves as a nonprofit educational organization that focuses on the facilitation of civics and character-based programs for students in K-12 classrooms.

Entry fees are nonrefundable and any cancellations, whether on the part of the participant or event, will result in entry fees being directly donated to the Liberty Learning Foundation.

Those seeking to register for any of the day’s events can do so by visiting the events website at Runsignup.com/Race/AL/Pelham/WalkforChrist5K.

Those interested in sponsorship opportunities are encouraged to contact Pelham Strong at PelhamStrong35124@gmail.com.