Just in time for the holidays, Charlotte-area residents can give back to the community by participating in the inaugural Speed for Children in Need 5K presented by WSOC-TV and TV64 on Saturday, Dec. 10, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The 5K will benefit the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC) and the Hendrick Marrow Program as they continue their efforts to help local children in need.

“Everyone at Speedway Children’s Charities is very excited for the Speed for Children in Need event and to see everyone gather at the track,” said Emily Hudgens, director of the Charlotte Chapter of SCC. “It’s the perfect opportunity for the community to give back while having fun and helping local children who are in educational, financial, social and medical need.”

The course for the 5K run/walk will start at zMAX Dragway, take participants past The Dirt Track at Charlotte, over the Highway 29 pedestrian bridge, through Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Gate 1 tunnel, down pit road and around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway, ending at the track’s start/finish line.

In addition to the 5K run/walk, there will also be a 1.5-mile track walk where race fans can walk in the tire tracks of some of the biggest names in racing and experience the steep 24-degree banking. Also, children can participate in their own mini run/walk with the Kid’s Dash and receive a prize.

“The Hendrick Marrow Program is thrilled to partner with Speedway Children’s Charities and Charlotte Motor Speedway on this event,” said Courtney Hurd, director of the Hendrick Marrow Program. “I am looking forward to seeing all of the participants run around the race track and I know we’ll have a lot of fun with the kids’ activities. This is going to be a great event for our community and is benefiting important causes.”

The Hendrick Marrow Program partners with Be The Match Foundation and the National Marrow Donor Program to help more patients receive the life-saving marrow transplant they need. It focuses on two key areas: recruiting unrelated marrow donors and offering patients financial assistance.

Providing assistance for the Speed for Children in Need 5K are champion sponsor Sonic Automotive, bib sponsor The Jimmie Johnson Foundation, as well as Run for Your Life.

After the event, participants are invited to stay and enjoy Carolina Christmas, the region’s largest holiday light show, featuring more than 4.5 miles of LED light displays made up of more than 3 million lights.

The Speed for Children in Need 5K will start at 3 p.m. The track walk will be held at 4 p.m. with the 5K Awards at 4:15 p.m.  The Kid’s Dash will start at 4:30 p.m.

Registration for the Speed for Children in Need event is $25 for the 5K run/walk, $10 for the track walk and $5 for the Kid’s Dash if registered by Nov. 30. The entry fees will increase by $5 after that day. For those who register on the day of the event, the entry fees are $35 for the 5k, $25 for the track walk and $10 for the Kid’s Dash.

For more information on the Speed for Children in Need 5K or to register online, visit www.charlotte.speedwaycharities.org.