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Galaxy 5K – Trail Town's Von Perry (left) and new Galaxy Project director Chelsa Hamilton (right) promote the Galaxy Project 5K at the Shriner's Swap & Sell event last weekend. (Photo by Jeremy D. Wells)

The Galaxy Project 5K has become a regular event in Olive Hill since the organization's first Monster Dash Halloween 5K two years ago.

This year the group is sponsoring a 5K as part of the First Annual Heritage Trails Spectacular.

When most folks think of Olive Hill's Trail Town status, they think of the horseback trails. But Trail Town's Von Perry explained that the city's Trail Town events are about more than just horseback riding. Horses are a big part of it, she noted, but the event also seeks to highlight trail usage for hiking, running, bicycling and even using the city as a jumping off point for kayak adventures on Tygart Creek. The Galaxy Project's 5K is just one part of raising that greater awareness of what Trail Town offers to residents and visitors alike.

The duo were set up at the Shriner's Swap & Sell event to raise awareness of the Galaxy Project and the Heritage Trails Spectacular, and to sign folks up for the 5K.

Cost to register for the 5K is $20 for pre-registration, either in person or online at aptiming.com, or $25 the day of the race. Forms for preregistration are also available at all area banks, Perry explained, or folks can pre-register by calling her at (606) 376-1549.

Funds raised through the 5K and other Galaxy Project events, Galaxy Project director Chelsa Hamilton explained, are used for a variety of projects, including sponsoring scholarships for local youth to participate in extracurricular activities like martial arts, Empower Athletics, and Cosmic Center programs.

Hamilton, who recently took over as the director for the group, said that the group is also still moving forward on plans for downtown improvements, including a park. She said the group is looking at additional grant opportunities for the revitalization effort, but that they will have to wait for other city projects to be completed before they can begin in earnest.

The group will also be working with the city on various efforts to control the flooding issues that have plagued downtown Olive Hill over the years, Hamilton said. This includes improvements upstream where Mill Branch meets Tygart Creek.

The Trail Town Spectacular, including the Galaxy 5K, is scheduled for Saturday, June 8, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration for the 5K begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, with the race starting at 10 a.m.

Contact the writer at jwells@journal-times.com.

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