The beginning of September always signals two important events for the local area: The start of school and the annual Fair Lakes 8K and 2K Fun Run/Walk.
And this year is no exception. School began on Tuesday, and the 8K race is slated for this Sunday, Sept. 10. Both the start and finish will be near the intersection of Fair Lakes Circle and Fair Lakes Parkway. The 8K kicks off at 8:30 a.m., with the 2K following 10 minutes later.
PRIZES ARE given to the top finishers in the male and female, wheelchair and children's divisions. The fastest male and female will each receive $100, a trophy and a Glory Days gift certificate; second- and third-place males and females will win $50 and $25, respectively, plus merchandise prizes. Awards will also be given in various age divisions and to the top co-ed team.
The course is USATF-certified, and all participants will receive commemorative, long-sleeved T-shirts. Register for the race at www.fairlakes8k.com. or call 703-871-0400. Cost is $25 for adults, and $10 for children 12 and under. Race-day registration runs from 7-8 a.m. at 12500 Fair Lakes Circle.
In addition, a whole slew of random door prizes will be awarded; winners must be present to receive them. Grand prize is a $1,000 gift certificate to The Inn at Little Washington. The Fair Lakes Residence Inn is also offering a free stay.
Other door prizes include gift certificates for meals at the Blue Iguana, Bonefish Grill, Cantina D' Italia, Fuddrucker's, Joe Java, JR's Stockyard, Logan's Roadhouse, Red Pepper and That's Amore. Wine Styles is awarding a private wine-tasting for 25 people, Blockbuster is giving free movie rentals; and Linens 'N Things, Modell's Sporting Goods and Payless Shoes are offering gift certificates.
The Peterson Cos. of Fair Lakes has now sponsored the 8K race for 20 years, and proceeds always go to charity. For many years, the National Marrow Donor Program was the recipient.
But in 2005 and again this year, the Inova Kellar Center of Fairfax is the beneficiary. It received more than $30,000 as a result of the 2005 race, and race director Zach David of the Peterson Cos. is hoping to raise even more money this time around.
A member of the Community Health Division of Inova Health System, the Inova Kellar Center is the only nonprofit, comprehensive, mental-health center in Northern Virginia. Founded in 1992, it provides a wide range of programs and services for children, adolescents and families in an outpatient setting.
The Inova Kellar Center offers evaluation, treatment and ongoing care for those struggling with mental-health and substance-abuse issues; also available is a special-education, day-school program. And proceeds received from last year's Fair Lakes 8K went toward the center's capital campaign that help construct its new building.
Now, said Rick Leichtweis, the center's director, the money from the race "will enable us to expand our services to the community to meet the increasing demands for [help for] children and the mentally disabled."
The Inova Kellar Center is at 11204 Waples Mill Road. For more information, see www.inova.org. or call 703-218-8500.