POLACCA-The dream is getting better this year for the race at Old Oraibi.
Juwan Nuvayokva, physical education teacher at Hopi High and former All-American runner at Northern Arizona University, is coordinating a race at Old Orabi Sept. 9.
An 8k footrace and two-mile walk/run will start at mile post 370 on Highway 264 in Old Oraibi.
The 8k race will start at 7:30 a.m. with the two-mile run to follow.
Nuvayokva said this is a dream for him because he grew up in Old Oraibi.
Nuvayokva said he wanted to show people that he was still involved with running.
"The main reason for this race is to promote fitness in sports through running and walking," he said. "I've seen big races all over the country and I want to see what we can bring to Hopi. Here, we can run on trails rather than on pavement."
Nuvayokva said this race was held last year, but this is the first year that they have corporate sponsors.
Last year, about 75 people participated. This year he hopes to get 200-300.
"We want to make this an annual event and build on it each year," he said.
Nuvayokva said he is glad that they will have traditional Hopi prizes and serve a Hopi traditional meal. He noted that his family and relatives will provide the Hopi stew, piki, watermelon and corn.
"I love the sport of running so I wanted to do something great with it. The people who come out and participate in this event are the ones who make it fun," he said.
Nuvayokva said his family supports this endeavor.
"When you do good things then people want to do for you. This is my family's way of giving something back," he said.
The race features a run on a dirt road at 7,000 feet.
Oraibi is known to be the oldest, continuous, inhabited settlement in America as it dates back to 1150 AD
Nuvayokva is proud that he was able to obtain corporate sponsorship: Wal Mart donated water bottles, Runner's World magazine donated running numbers and Gatorade cups, A Runner's High donated running shoes and other gear for the winners, Northern Arizona
University's Distance Learning Center donated all printing costs and notepads, Renee Silas Awards donated traditional Hopi medallions for the prizes and Northern Arizona Window Tinting paid for the costs of the t-shirts.
After the races, a traditional Hopi meal will be provided to all the registered participants.
The race categories will include all age categories.
Awards will include Oldest Runner, Youngest Runner, top three awards for each age for men and women. The two-mile fun run/walk is not competitive.
Registrations must be postmarked by Sept. 5. Race bibs and T-shirts will be distributed to each paid participant the day of the race. The entrance fee is $12 for pre-registrants and $15 the day of the race for the 8k or $12 for the two-mile run/walk.
For more information, call Nuvayokva at (928) 738-0163 or Norman Cuch at (928) 401-8783 or e-mail Nuvayokva at Hopi_Harrier@yahoo.com.