Area road racing enthusiasts awaiting the 2000 running season can enjoy the weekend.
The Clarksburg Area Race Series presented by Hardee's begins its second season at the Grafton 5-Mile Run on Sunday.
CARS was started to give area runners a chance to compete in a championship series involving road races in and around the Clarksburg area.
Series organizer Dave Weekley believes this year will be as competitive as last season, which had 132 runners participate in at least one of the series' 10 races.
"It's expected to be more competitive this year, and that's based on the number of entrants that have inquired about this year's series," Weekley said. "Additionally, we spread the races out this year and have a longer time frame to run which may make it easier for people to qualify for the minimum number of races."
The series is based on a points' system weighted by the participant's finish in a race. The participants must also finish five of the 10 events to qualify for the series championship.
Changes this season include bonus points and series registration, which is free. The winner of each race receives three points, while participants in the West Virginia 10K and 5K Championships receive 10 and five bonus points, respectively.
All participants must sign up for the series prior to a race to receive points.
One asset Weekley pointed out is that CARS will again include the state's 10K championship -- The Greater Clarksburg 10K -- and the state's 5K championship -- The West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival 5K.
"The 10K is a premier event and the main drawing card of the series," Weekley said. "The state's top runners and world's top runners are a part of it, and people look forward to it.
"It's the No. 2 10K event in the United States (behind the Peachtree 10K Classic), and that's why we give the bonus points because if they can do well there, they can do well anywhere in the state.
"The 5K race attraction is it is one of the faster courses in the area."
After the Grafton race, the series is off until April 29 when the General Lightburn 5K will be run in Jane Lew.
The rest of the schedule is: The Blue and Gray 5K, Philippi, June 3; P.A.T.C.H. Run 5K, West Union, June 8; W.V.I.H.F 5K, Eastpointe, June 17; Benedum Festival 5K, Bridgeport, July 15; Greater Clarksburg 10K, July 29; Blackberry Festival 5K, Nutter Fort, Aug. 5; United Way Campaign Kickoff 5K, Nutter Fort, Sept. 10; and Apple Butter Festival 5K, Salem, Oct. 7.
Participants can register at participating races or can e-mail their name, address and birth date to firstname.lastname@example.org.