5th annual Burton Race Series kicks off with announcement of a new event

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BURTON (WJRT) (02/15/18)--It's the kickoff to Mid-Michigan's competitive and timed road race season. The Burton Race Series returns Saturday with the

"Our fifth year, bigger and better. Every year we have more and more people earn their medals. It makes them part of an event that goes from Februray to November," said series founder Vaughn Smith.

The series takes place over four race-days. Events include the "Race2Grace" in May, and the Veterans' Day run. The series opener is this Saturday's Hot Fudge 5k, with a noon start at Bentley High School.

"We go over the highest point in Burton on the overpass of the expressway and through the neighborhoods, enjoy melted fudge with fruit," said Burton Kiwanis Club President Debbie Newton.

Something brand new this year and tied in with the Burton Race Series, is the Burton Mile. It's happening right after the City of Burton's Memorial Day 5k, on Center Road, in front of City Hall.

"Run fast, not far. It's just a one-mile sprint. It's going to be right before the parade," said Burton Mayor Paula Zelenko.

That one mile comes with some serious prize money.

"First place male and female get $300 dollars. Second place is $200 dollars, and third place is $100 dollars," said Zelenko.

So far, the series has help earn more than $100,000 dollars for a variety of causes.

"The scouts, donations for scholarships for kids going to college, the arts and theater groups, the robotics groups, all different groups, especially with youths and veterans," said Zelenko.

The Mayor believes the thousands of participants that have visited in the past, have already made a long lasting impact.

"We've become a destination race community. It's just great," said Zelenko.

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