Running series continues with poker theme

FRONT ROYAL – Shenandoah Valley Runners invites runners of all ages to their “Poker Run 5 Miler” at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Bowling Green Country Club South Clubhouse.

Vern Heavner, president of Shenandoah Valley Runners, said this weekend’s race is part of their winter series.

“Each year for over 25 years we have held these events,” Heavner said. “Eight races that start the first Saturday in December and run every other Saturday until March.”

Saturday’s run has a poker theme. Runners will be dealt a hand as they run the race. The best poker hand will win.

Admission is $10 per individual or $20 for a family.

“These events have grown over the years,” he said. “We are currently averaging over 325 people per event and have (approximately) 600 people registered for the entire series.”

Heavner added that the events are fun, low-cost events that get their members outside during the cold winter months.

Upcoming races include Stickman’s Tandem 5K in Strasburg on Jan. 27, Heart and Soles 5k in Middletown on Feb. 10 and Lose Your Shirt and Shoes 5k in Front Royal on Feb. 24.

At the end of the winter series, the club holds an annual banquet where awards are issued to the Top 5  men and women overall and for individual age groups.

The club’s mission is to promote and encourage running regardless of age, gender or physical condition. To accomplish this, it holds various runs and social events, awards scholarships, sponsors speakers and coordinates with other agencies in the valley to advocate for running and walk. Primarily based in Winchester, the group has members who cover the greater Northern Shenandoah Valley area.

“We have runners of all ages and abilities ranging from 5 to 94,” Heavner said.

For more information about Shenandoah Valley Runners, visit them on the web at

Bowling Green Country Club South Clubhouse is located at 500 Bowling View Road, Front Royal.