The All Area 5K Championship Circuit will be returning this year.
The race circuit was established last year by Tim Weitekamp of Rantoul, who helps coordinate that city’s Rockin the Runway 5K . The circuit includes four races: the Gifford Community Celebration 5K on June 23, the Rantoul race on June 30, the Knights of Columbus 5K  in Paxton on July 4, and the Fisher Fair 5K  on July 14.
“All the directors were pleased with the outcome (from last year),” Weitekamp said. “They all attributed a number of additional runners to (the circuit). I think this year we’ll see even more of that because all four, in promoting our races, are promoting the other three as well.”
To participate in the circuit, runners pay a $5 circuit entry fee (in addition to the entry fees for each race), and they must finish three of the four races. Awards are given to the top overall male and female circuit races, and the top runners in each age group.
If there are enough runners participating this year, Weitekamp said he may increase the number of age group awards given.
And if the circuit continues to be successful, Weitekamp would like to add a couple more races to it. He wants to add races affiliated with the Kennekuk Road Runners Club and the Second Wind Running Club.
“If we get some (runners) in from Second Wind and we get some in from Kennekuk, we’re going to grow it faster,” he said.
He’s also like to include some races that are a little farther apart in terms of date, as the four circuit races now all take place within three weeks of one another.
Photo: Runners at the start of the 2008 Fisher Fair 5K. Photo by Vanda Bidwell/The News-Gazette