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The Moo’ve It 5K benefits the Cherokee County Educational Foundation and Cherokee County Special Olympics.

The eighth-annual Chick-fil-A Moo’ve It 5K to support the Cherokee County Educational Foundation and the Cherokee County Special Olympics is returning as an in-person event at Etowah River Park this Saturday.

“We’re very excited to be back in person,” Cherokee County Educational Foundation Executive Director Lisa-Marie Haygood said.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, last year the race was held in a virtual format, with participants sending in video footage of themselves, Haygood said. However, participants have said they were excited and strongly anticipating having the event returning to an in-person event.

“This is something the community really wanted us to do,” Haygood said.

The event opens at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, with the 5K slated to begin at 8 a.m. Chicken biscuits will be available for those who arrive early at the park, while the event will be broadcast live on the radio. Winners in each division of the race will receive a cowbell and catering platter from Chick-fil-A for their victory, while one person will be chosen at random to win free Chick-fil-A for a year. The winner of the “Most Spirited Cow” award will also win free Chick-fil-A for a year.

Early registration closed at 9 p.m. Wednesday, but those wanting to participate can sign up for the event on the morning of the race. Walk-up registration fees are $40 for the 5K and $20 for the Calf Run, a race designed for younger participants. Participants who completed early registration for the 5K can pick up their race packets between 4 and 8 p.m. Thursday at the Chick-fil-A in Hickory Flat.

“Currently, we have 1,312 participants registered for the race,” Haygood said Wednesday morning. “We believe we’ll hit 1,500 registered before the early registration window closes.”

One thing that sets this race apart from other similar competitions, Haygood said, is that all six Chick-fil-A locations in Cherokee County come together to support this effort.

Since the Moo’ve It 5K began, the event has raised more than $200,000 for the Cherokee County Educational Foundation and Cherokee County Special Olympics. Based on this year’s event budget, Haygood estimated Saturday’s 5K could raise around $75,000 for the two organizations.

Etowah River Park is located at 600 Brown Industrial Parkway in Canton. For more information, visit www.cfamooveit.com.

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