• Runners in 2017 Carillon Classic 5K Run on Saturday, April 29 at Bok Tower Gardens Will Face Completely New Course Following Trails Not Used in Previous Five Races

    Runners who compete in the 2017 Carillon Classic 5K Run & Walk will get a close up look at the historic Pinewood House due to a reconfigured course following trails that were not used in the previous five Carillon Classics. The race is scheduled to begin at 7:30 am on Saturday, April 29 at Bok Tower Gardens. No strollers this year due to new course configuration.

    POLK COUNTY, FL (Apr. 23, 2017) – Runners who compete in the 2017 Carillon Classic 5K Run & Walk on Saturday, April 29 at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida will experience a 
reconfigured course that will take them over many new trails while bypassing two of the off-road trails used in previous runnings of the race. Nearly 400 runners are expected to compete in the race, which begins at 7:30 am sharp.
    Like the first five races in the series, the 2017 Carillon Classic 5K Run & Walk promises to live up to its reputation for offering runners what’s considered Florida’s most challenging 5K course, with 
frequent elevation changes and a variety of running surfaces, including paved roads as well as grass, clay, gravel and mulch trails.
    Runners can register on the Fitniche website at or the Athlink website at . Race day registration at Bok Tower Gardens begins at 6:30 am. The entry fee of $30 includes free admission to Bok Tower Gardens on race day for runners and their families.
    One of the most significant course changes will be evident in the early stages of the race when 
runners will continue running in a southerly direction along a straight and level paved road (Bok Tower Gardens’ main entrance road) instead of making an abrupt right turn onto the gravel-covered Preserve Trail near the quarter mile mark as was the case in the first five races.
    Runners will pass the one mile marker as they make their way along a winding gravel trail inside a wooded area shortly after exiting the paved main road. They will continue on this trail for about a quarter mile before returning to the main road and heading north and northwest into a parking at the 
attraction’s Visitors’ Center. Just before entering the parking lot, runners will pass the Pine Ridge Nature Trail, a narrow dirt pathway with steep inclines that was used in the last three Carillon Classics. Even though it was part of the course in the first two years of the Carillon Classic, the parking lot was off limits the past three years due to a now-complete $12 million capital improvement project that brought a children’s nature garden, an outdoor kitchen, a boardwalk, bogs, a sprawling lawn and other new attractions to Bok Tower Gardens.
    In the final mile of the race, runners will get a closeup look at all the new attractions as they 
traverse new trails that did not exist during previous races. These new trails, featuring elevation changes and primarily clay and mulch surfaces, will lead runners to older trails that will bring them in close proximity to the historic Pinewood House on the western edge of Bok Tower Gardens. Immediately after passing Pinewood House, runners will get an awesome view of the tower housing the carillon as they run in a southerly then southeasterly direction toward the finish line. Even the homestretch between the tower and the finish line is different this year, as runners will run toward the Visitors Center on a mulch trail, then inside the southern boundary of the parking lot as they approach and cross the finish line.
    In addition to seeing the tower close up, runners will hear soothing carillon music as they 
navigate the challenging course, which will also give them a vantage point for observing rare plant species, cactus, live oak canopies and orange groves, as well as the new attractions, historic 
structures and awesome views for which Bok Tower Gardens is world famous.
    The event will culminate with a ceremony featuring award presentations to the top three male and female finishers overall, as well as the top masters and top grand masters male and female runners. The top three male and female runners in these age groups also will earn awards: 10 & under, 11-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80 & older. Information is available by calling Race Director Marc Zimmerman of Polk County Tourism & Sports Marketing at 863-551-4726 or by sending an e-mail to .
    The Carillon Classic 5K is a charitable event established in 2012 by the Dick Pope/Polk County Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) in partnership with Bok Tower Gardens. The first five races drew a combined total of nearly 2,000 runners, raising more than $20,000 for charity. This year’s race is being sponsored and managed by Polk County Tourism & Sports Marketing and the designated charity is the Bok Tower Gardens Foundation.