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Ellisville’s Cop Trot returns, benefits The BackStoppers

Officer Jake Adams ran the race in full gear in 2016. [Photo courtesy of Ellisville Police]

The city of Ellisville is meeting warmer weather with a spring in its step, literally.

Registration has begun for the police department’s third annual Cop Trot 5K event, scheduled for April 14 in Bluebird Park. Check-in is from 7-7:45 a.m. on race day, with an 8 a.m. official start. A Fun Run for kids follows the 5K.

Proceeds from the 2018 event, as in 2017, will benefit The BackStoppers Inc., which assists the families of St. Louis area first responders, who have suffered from injuries or been killed in the line of duty.

According to Sally Grobelny, Ellisville recreation coordinator, the city chose to benefit The BackStoppers for a second year due, in part, to the number of supportive sponsorships that came in for the organization and in response to current events across the country.

“I think part of it is because of what’s happening in the world, and we’re just trying to bring back the respect and appreciation to the officers,” Grobelny said. “So, we left it with BackStoppers just to keep that recognition back to the officers, because BackStoppers supports those same officers and firefighters.”

Last year’s event raised about $8,000 for the organization. According to Grobelny, the city hopes to surpass that amount for the 2018 event since storms dampened some of last year’s activities.

“There was a lot of rain that day,” Grobelny said. “This year, we’d love to do $10,000 for BackStoppers. That would be our goal for this year.”

In 2017, about 175 attendees, both civilians and police officers, some from other municipalities and even other states, participated.

“Usually each year, we have one officer or maybe even a couple that runs in full uniform during the race,” Grobelny said.

The Cop Trot course features occasional inclines, gentle hills and flatter stretches that wind through Ellisville and Ballwin neighborhoods. Runners of all fitness levels are welcome to participate at their own pace. Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers. Running strollers will be allowed.

The annual Fun Run for kids is a free event that kids can register for on race day or in advance at RacesOnline.com. Participants will receive ribbons upon completion of the course, which spans just short of 1 mile.

According to Grobelny, even though the race is the main event, there will be some other amenities onsite for spectators to enjoy, including the possibility of a “Cop Trot Glamor Shots” photo booth.

“We’re trying to get that booth to come back,” Grobelny said. “We also try to have the police and tactical vehicles from Ellisville and other areas [onsite].”

Registration fee is $30 in advance before April 11 and $35 on race day.

Advance registration can be submitted and paid at the city’s Park Administration Building, located off Kiefer Creek Road or completed online at RacesOnline.com [Fleet Feet]. Mailed registrations must be postmarked by April 7; walk-in registrations will be accepted until 5 p.m. on April 11. Online registration will close at midnight on April 11.

Parking for the event will be in Bluebird Park’s front and rear parking lots.

Grobelny said one of the greatest points of enjoyment for locals and participating officers is the ability for everyone in the community to come together for a charitable cause.

“I see a difference in these smaller towns with their law enforcement,” Grobelny said. “I think everyone is just more connected with the community.”

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