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story.lead_photo.caption Mark Wilson/News Tribune Runners participating in the 7th Annual Prison Break Race run through the 'Catch Me If You Can Fun Run & Obstacle Course' at Ellis-Porter Park.

There will be a record number of participants Saturday in the eighth annual Prison Break.

The race will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the lower lot at Missouri State Penitentiary, 115 Lafayette St., and will end at Prison Brews, 305 Ash St. The lower lot is located near the intersection of North Chestnut Street and East Capitol Avenue.

The course spans more than 4 miles and will test participants' athleticism. Participants will run hilly terrains and tackle various obstacles, designed to make them feel as if they really are breaking out of prison.

"There will be anything from a mud pit that they will have to crawl through, dirt mounds — there's a lot of dirt and mud involved in this one," said Austin Rippeto, race director and Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau sports sales manager. "There's anything from hay bales, mounds, string web that they have to crawl through and a large slip 'n slide at the end."

The previous record of registered runners was 206, Rippeto said. As of Monday, there were more than 300 registered runners.

Of those registered, Rippeto said, 30 percent of runners are traveling farther than 100 miles to run the race.

He anticipates about 350 total runners Saturday.

"It's been a really, really good year for registered runners, and we're really excited about where the race can go from here," he said. "We're hoping to grow upon it every year and really make sure it's a staple in the Jefferson City community for years to come."

Registration costs $40 per person. Participants can register at the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, 700 E. Capitol Ave., or from 7-8 a.m. Saturday at the old prison. The CVB will only accept cash or checks for registration, Rippeto said.

Participants must be 18 years or older.

The CVB's Athletic Events Committee is hosting the event and plans to use the proceeds to assist outside sporting events coming to Jefferson City, Rippeto said. The committee has helped Special Olympics Missouri's Outdoor Games and the Missouri State High School Activities Association state track meet.

Due to damage the Missouri State Penitentiary property sustained during the May 22 tornado, registration was moved from inside the prison to the lower lot and the race will begin at the lower lot instead of on Lafayette Street, Rippeto said.

"We still get to utilize a lot of the historical aspects of that area of the penitentiary down there, so we don't feel like we really lost a ton with the tornado," he said.

It may cost $9.4 million to repair the Missouri State Penitentiary following the May 22 tornado, according to cost estimates from Missouri Office of Administration last month.

Catch Me If You Can Fun Run 
and Obstacle Course

The Prison Break race will run in conjunction with the Catch Me If You Can Fun Run and Obstacle Course, scheduled 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. The Catch Me If You Can race is for children 6-17 years old.

The 2.5-mile course will start at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 1101 Riverside Drive, and end at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park, 1425 Riverside Drive.

The race contains more than 15 obstacles, including mud pits, tubes with slime, spider webs and a water section.

"It's a lot of fun, a lot of gooey slime and mud involved," said Alexis Kerman, Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department outdoor recreation program manager.

It costs $25 to register, and people can register at The Linc, 1299 Lafayette St.

Participants can pick up their packets Thursday and Friday at The Linc, Kerman said. If participants cannot pick up their packets during that time, they can pick them up during the check-in process Saturday.

The proceeds will benefit the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation youth scholarship program and the special population program.

Adults who want to run the course with their children can go to The Linc and donate $10 to the youth scholarship fund, Kerman said. They will receive a wristband that will indicate they can go through the course.

Adults who do not pay can walk or run by their children and help them on obstacles, but the adults will not be allowed to go on the obstacles.

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