Families and individuals in Provo are prepping for the Temple to Temple 5K Run on Saturday, considered the largest run in the state.

The 5K run begins at 8 a.m. and is free to all participants.

This will be the ninth year for the event that takes folks from the Provo Temple south to the Provo City Center Temple.

Each participant is required to register, whether they are an elite runner or a family that prefers to walk the race route. Prior to race day, each registered runner will receive a race bib, which they must wear in order to participate.

These items will be available from noon to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at the Provo Freedom Stake Center, 835 S. 500 West, as well as at 6 a.m. on race day at the starting line.

According to Eric Speckhard, chairman of the event, the first year had about 5,000 participants. Its biggest year garnered more than 21,000 participants.

“We expect between 15,000 and 20,000 this year,” Speckard said. “Our goal is 25,000.”

To celebrate the event, composer and songwriter Janice Kapp Perry, who also has participated in the 5K several years, wrote a special song specifically for the event.

The song was presented for the first time during the annual Temple To Temple 5K Fireside that was held Sunday.

Perry says it best with her lyrics. In part, they say:

“The Provo Utah Temple stands nobly on a hill, beneath the stately mountains, its beauty thrills us still ...

“The City Center Temple shines brightly where it stands, where beauty rose from ashes according to God’s plan ...

“We’ll walk between the temples to honor pioneers, with faith in every footstep we’ll feel their presence near ... ”

Many of those participating run or walk in the name of their ancestors and in some cases they use handcarts as part of their participation.

Older participants have even used walkers, while young moms and dads have pushed strollers.

The 5K run was first sponsored by the Provo South LDS Stake. That was later split and the sponsorship reverted to the new Provo Freedom Stake.

Participants will walk down 200 East for the majority of the 5K. In past years and again this year, there are several notable faces from leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Two of those participating will be the new Utah Provo Mission President Todd L. Hendrickson and his wife, Rebecca A. Hendrickson. Rebecca “Becky” Hendrickson has participated in 27 marathons, including several times in the famous Boston Marathon.

Missionaries from the Provo mission also will be participating.

If participation is any indication, the popularity of this event continues to increase over the years.

To get more information or to register, visit http://templetotemplerun.org.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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