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Time to run the Dust ‘n’ Bones race

Pedallers aren’t the only ones enjoying the Mt. Zion Bike Trails.

Runners entered in the Dust ‘n’ Bones Trail Race are giving the piney woods a workout twice a year — in the spring and fall.

The next race, set for Dec. 1 at 8 a.m., is 6 miles and 12 miles — runners choose the length for their competition.

The run takes them over narrow, well-marked trails full of ups, downs, twists, turns and wooden bridges.

Registration is $50 through ultrasignup.com. That includes a T-shirt and a finisher medal.

Prizes will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place overall for male and female, and awards will also be given to the top three in several age groups — 14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and older.

A kids fun run is at 10 a.m. Registration for the 2-mile fun run is $25 and includes a T-shirt.

Water will be provided at 3, 6 and 9 miles and at the finish.

Organizer Josh Reed said seating will be available around the pavilion, but lawn chairs are encouraged.

Parking is limited.

Mt. Zion Bike Trails at 1134 Mt. Zion Road NW, were created for the purpose of promoting health and fitness while enjoying God’s creation of the outdoors, Reed said. The trails provide a safe, fun, beautiful venue for mountain bikers and hikers of any age or fitness level, for recreational and training for competitive purposes. The trails are built to compliment their natural surroundings and allow the beauty of nature to be seen by those who use them.

The trails are open to the public with no required fee, but donations are accepted in a kiosk at the trail head. Profits from this run will be used for upkeep and improvements of the trail, Reed said.

About 70 runners registered for the spring race.

“We actually had a New Yorker there,” he said.

Trail racing is gaining in popularity in the state because it’s challenging, said Reed, a member of the Mississippi Mudders Group which also runs Spartan races in Louisiana and on the Coast.

“It’s different than your average 5K,” he said. “You can actually run trails and get off the road some. It attracts a different kind of crowd. It’s a little bit more challenging than just running 5Ks and stuff like that on the road.”

Reed enjoys the hills and the natural hazards.

“It’s a pretty good challenge,” he said. “Trail running occupies your mind. You don’t get bored like you do on the road. You’re steadily stepping over roots and stuff like that.”