With a large field and top competition, the third annual West Virginia Italian Heritage 5K gives local runners a true test entering the heart of the road racing season.
Registration starts at 7 a.m. today and concludes at 8:15 a.m., to give race officials time to log in every entrant into the chip timing system.
The race starts at 8:30 a.m. in front of the United States regional post office and runs along Emily Drive at Eastpointe. Runners make a turn at the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles and head back on Emily Drive to Wal-Mart for the finish.
Race director Larry Cann believes the field will have 400 runners, provided the forecasted rain misses the area. Last year's event featured a field of 334.
Defending men's champion, David Lyles, may not attend the race, according to officials, but Fayetteville's Larry Taylor, who won the inaugural race, will run the event.
Morgantown's Heather Bury will return to defend her women's title.
The race is the fourth leg of the Clarksburg Area Racing Series (CARS) and is the first event in Harrison County in the series. It also helps serve as a tuneup for the Greater Clarksburg 10K, scheduled for July 28.