The 16th Annual Joint Special Operations 10K Run / 5K Walk is set for Nov. 10. The JSO-10K is sponsored by the Special Operations Communicators Association. This year’s event will start from McKellars Lodge. Last year was our largest turnout with 980 participants and we hope to have at least that many this year.

The race started in 1996 and has remained pretty much unchanged until 2009 when the start point was moved from Pike Field to McKellar’s Lodge. The accommodations at the lodge area with the picnic pavilion for packet pick-up and race day registrations are excellent. It is a little farther to get to the starting line (400 meters), but is worth the extra short walk. The longstanding goal has always been to put on such a great competition that the Fort Bragg and surrounding communities would look forward to it every year.

The course itself is completely off-road. In the past 15 years, the course has been dry only five times. With this said, there is fun to be had by all. Because the event is growing and becoming more popular, registration is limited to 1,000 participants because of parking and course management.

The JSO 10K is a USA Track and Field Association certified # NC-10103-PH. For those who have not run this race before, it is more about having fun than setting a new land speed record. Because of the terrain and elevation changes, it is not a course that will qualify you for the Boston Marathon. In  the past, many have come up and asked “is this the nasty run in the woods?” The answer is “well yes it is,” and immediately, they start signing up.

For those who have participated before, you know parking is a premium around McKellar’s Lodge. This year however, it is a weekend so this should alleviate a lot of the parking issues. Still, follow the parking attendants to get you in and out safely. There will be 10 Porto-lets in the area for your use.

Every participant who crosses the finish line will receive a finisher’s coin. The shirt this year is a black with silver and white accents (retro style).

To better serve participants and to keep down the long lines on race day, there will be two days of pre-race packet pick-up. Late registrations will also be accepted at that time.

On Nov. 8, organizers will be at Sports USA from 3 to 7 p.m. and Nov. 9 from noon to 3 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods store off Skibo Road, Fayetteville.

The race is open to the public. Non ID card holders should consider leaving early to get through security at the Fort Bragg gates.

This is a Family event too. There are many who run or walk as a Family. Although pets are part of the Family, organizers ask that you leave them at home. There will be an awards ceremony with hot beverages and doughnuts immediately following the race around 10 a.m. There will be plenty of raffle gift cards for local area restaurants and stores. Food/drinks and raffle tickets are free for all registered runners.

Pre-registration runs through Oct. 26. For more information, visit www.thesoca.org. Also visit Facebook and “like” their fan page at https://www.facebook.com/SpecialOperationsCommunicatorsAssn

Organizers look forward to a big turn-out and hope that you all can make it. Please pre-register early to reserve a spot in this prestigious event.

Registration is open now on www,active.com. SOCA will be at the front entrance of the Mini-Mall, Oct. 22 to 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. during lunch. You can register also at Sports USA on Oct. 18 and 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. during lunch and then again from 4 to 6 p.m.