If you go
• What: CASA Superhero 5K
• When: 8 a.m. March 3
• Where: Fowler Park, 4110 Carolene Way
• Cost: $35 for 5K, $15 for 1K fun run
• Online: Register or donate at www.active.com, or get more information at www.forsythcountycasa.org
Heroes will take flight on foot at Fowler Park this coming Saturday.
A crowd of more than 500 is expected to participate in the CASA Superhero 5K and 1K fun run, which will kick off at 8 a.m.
Prizes will be awarded for the best superhero attire, though costumes are optional.
The run is the “single largest fundraiser for the year” for the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Forsyth County, event organizer Lorraine Salvatore said.
CASA began the 5K four years ago, but last year added the superhero theme and changed the venue to the newly opened Fowler Park and its connection to the Big Creek Greenway trail.
Salvatore said the changes made for a successful event, and the number of participants has grown as word spread.
“People are loving the superhero theme,” she said. “And the fact that we’re so family friendly and they can bring the kids.”
She recalled one of the top costumed families last year, which included a Wonder Woman mom and daughter, as well as a Superman son.
About one-third of runners wore costumes in 2011. That included parents, kids and their pets, which are also welcome to come, she said.
With more prizes for costumes and CASA capes for sale at the event, Salvatore said the number of people dressed up could increase.
Some changes to the 5K may also attract more runners and more competition.
For the first time, the race is a qualifier for the Peachtree Road Race.
Starting at the Fowler Park pavilion and ending on the greenway, the fun run course is a great option for those seeking good qualifying times for the July Fourth race in Atlanta, Salvatore said.
“Our course is the fastest course around because it’s a drop in elevation, and the fact that it’s on the greenway makes it very fast,” she said.
Those who run the 5K will be chip-timed on the course and receive a technical, fiber shirt instead of cotton.
Everyone can complete the course in whatever time it takes them to do so, Salvatore said.
“We are welcoming to all fitness levels and all ages,” she said.
Since the event is volunteer-driven, most proceeds go straight to CASA, she said.
The organization provides for each child “a trained community volunteer appointed by a judge to speak up for the best interests of an abused or neglected child involved in a juvenile court proceeding,” according to the CASA description.
Janet Walden, executive director of the local CASA, said in a statement that the advocate offers a consistent relationship for children.
“So often [Department of Family and Child Services] case managers change, therapists change, schools change and placements change for the child,” Walden said.
“The CASA volunteer is the one face in the crowd that is constant during a child’s journey through the child welfare system.”
And during a recession, Salvatore said, more children typically come under the care of the judicial system.
“Each year, Forsyth County CASA is asked to look after much more children than the year before,” she said. “This kind of funding is vitally important to us.”