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McGuire's 5K expecting huge crowd

PENSACOLA  --  Saturday, thousands of people will run the McGuire's 5K in Pensacola, and thousands more will join them for an after-party that will stretch across downtown.  

The race had over 17,000 runners last year.
Rob Brown: "Saturday morning, well over 10,000 runners will start a 3.1 mile race here, in front of McGuire's Irish Pub, in an event that's become a major part of the city."

Last year, it took over twelve minutes for the thousands of runners to all cross the start line. Race Director Perry Hunter said this year could be even bigger.

Perry Hunter: "We had about 17,000 runners, about 14,000 registered. And we're looking on track for somewhere around that vicinity right now."

The race started 37 years ago at the original McGuire's Pub on Fairfield Drive,  with a few dozen friends. Hunter says it requires a lot of manpower to host the event it's turned into.

Perry Hunter: "You're looking, all said and done with all of our water stops, all of our registration tents, the big party afterwards, you're looking at about 225 to 250 people all said and done."

Pensacola police officers and private security hired by McGuire's watch over the event. Many running websites, like roadraceplace.com, call it one of the best in the country.

Around 25% of those involved are from out of town, and bring plenty of money to the local economy. Katie Hagensik manages running wild, and says they see a direct impact every year.

Katie Hagensik: "I think it's great for the economy. I think it's great to have that many people, and as the race grows and more and more people come from out of town, that's just great for Pensacola."

She says the event welcomes everyone, not just experienced runners.

Katie Hagensik: "It's not necessarily a RACE race, but it's something that everyone can get involved in, and have a lot of fun with. So I've definitely seen it grow."
Rob Brown: "Race organizers say the event's come a long way over 37 years, and they hope to see it continue to grow in the future."