I realize spring is a still a long ways away, but once I hear news about the annual Fitger's 5K Run & Walk I start to get excited for a change of season.  The downside is that the Fitger's 5K marks the start of my steady training schedule for the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon and I'm still in lazy winter mode.

Ready or not, registration is now open for the annual event, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 11.

The Fitger’s 5K field is limited to the first 2,000 entrants – the same cap as a year ago when the mark was reached about three weeks prior to the race.

The entry fee is $30 plus a processing fee with all net proceeds benefiting the Young Athletes Foundation, a Grandma's Marathon program that focuses on the promotion and development of youth athletics throughout Carlton, Cook, Douglas, Lake and St. Louis Counties.  According to Grandmas Marathon, since its inception in 1990, the YAF has contributed more than $700,000 to area nonprofit youth athletic organizations.

The only way to sign up for the 26th annual event is online, and you can click here right now to register.

It could be warm, but my experience is that the race will be chilly with some snow or ice involved.  Regardless, the race begins at 9 a.m. on East Superior Street in front of Fitger’s and travels through downtown Duluth and Canal Park before finishing back at Fitger’s.