The fourth annual Sykesville Shiver Shuffle 5K will step off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27 from the parking lot at Baldwin's Station, at 7618 Main St. in Sykesville.
The event is held by the Eldersburg Rogue Runners, a nonprofit affiliate of the Freedom Area Recreation Council. Race registration is $30 for ERR members and $35 for nonmembers.
Proceeds will go to support ERR's group runs for all ages, a youth track and field program, a scholarship program for ERR members who are student-athletes in their senior year of high school, and other activities throughout the year.
"We support the local high schools — Century, South Carroll and Liberty — in fundraisers. We time their 5K races and that sort of thing," said Jane Linde, ERR president. "We have a scholarship program for those three schools and private- or home-school kids who are [ERR] members."
"This year, we're excited to give two scholarships of $750 each to each school and one to a private- or home-school student," Linde said.
The organization will give seven scholarships this year.
Runners who pre-register will be able to pick up their race-day packets between 4 and 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, at Tri Sport Junction, or under the registration tent beginning at 11:30 a.m. on race day.
The race, which is open to all ages, follows a route west from Baldwin's Station to south on Church Street, then turns east on Norwood Avenue before turning right to go south on Oklahoma Avenue. From Oklahoma Avenue, it winds through the Hawk Ridge Farm neighborhood before returning back down Oklahoma Avenue to the finish line on the service road from the Post Office to Baldwin's Station.
Stephanie Bowman, ERR member and one of the race organizers, said there will be volunteers along the race route with signs to let drivers know race participants are using the roads.
Bowman said she runs the course herself a few times every year as she plans the route, which is approved by other ERR members.
"It's a challenging course, especially at the beginning," Bowman said, referring to the hilly terrain and the steepest hill at the front of the course, southbound on Oklahoma Road.
"Each year we learn a little bit more so there's a little tweak. One of the larger loops is being run in reverse [this year] to give the runners a break," Bowman said.
Volunteers from St. Paul's Church, at 7538 Main St. in Sykesville, will host a water station at the halfway point, Bowman said.
After the race, Baldwin's Station will offer beer for runners 21 and older, E.W. Beck's will serve Maryland crab soup, and Market Tavern will provide chocolates, all of which will be free to runners.
Awards will go to the top three female and male finishers after all participants cross the finish line.
The festivities do not end with the post-race celebration. You can show your race bib to participating merchants in return for discounts.
Sykesville businesses offering discounts to Shiver Shufflers include A Likely Story Bookstore, Cowboys and Angels Boutique, Gypsy Systers, Revive and Company, and others. Some area restaurants, including Baldwin's Station, E.W. Beck's, The French Twist, and Market Tavern, will also be offering special pricing to registered runners.
Linde said Rogue Runners members Stephanie Bowman and Margie Phipps took over organizing the race in its second year, 2014, and reached out to Main Street merchants.
"Merchant participation has grown," Linde said. "I think they have gotten a lot of exposure after the race because people are curious who's got a sale. It's become a very interesting Main Street event."
E.W. Beck's, The French Twist, Hair by Samsara, State Farm Agent Elaina Gossage, and Tri Sport Junction in Sykesville; Blackbird CrossFit, Freedom Chiropractic & Rehab, and Freedom Dental Care in Eldersburg; and The Power of Positive Touch [massage therapy] in Catonsville, will all be providing financial sponsorship of the event.
Support from the financial sponsors goes toward buying the race shirts, renting the registration tent and other expenses, Linde said.
"It's normally a break-even event," Linde said. "If we make something on it, then everything goes back into the program for [Eldersburg Rogue Runner] activities."
Linde said the race had about 40 participants the first year and that number has roughly doubled each year since.
"Our goal was to double what we had each year. This year, our goal was 200 and we're just about there," Phipps said.
"February is a hard time to get out and do things and we're just trying to keep people focused [on running]," Linde said. "Knowing the race is coming up, people are out training, not waiting until March or April."
Woodbine resident Becky Rhodes, who said she is not an ERR member but knows a few members, said she will be running the Shiver Shuffle for the first time this year.
"It's good to try new things," she said. "[Running is] something I enjoy — and being around people involved in the sport. They're friendly and welcoming."
Rhodes said she and her family will spend the rest of the day in Sykesville visiting the stores together after she finishes the race.
"I think it's a fun family event to do. It's in the afternoon and maybe it'll be warmer," Rhodes said, with a laugh, referring to the start times for most races, which are early in the morning when temperatures are usually lower.
Shiver Shuffle offers volunteer opportunities for students to earn community service hours required for school, Linde said. Interested students can contact ERR at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donna Mortensen writes for the Neighborhoods section of the Carroll County Times. She can be reached at
If you go:
What: Fourth annual Sykesville Shiver Shuffle 5K
When: Saturday, Feb. 27; registration opens 11:30 a.m.; race starts 1 p.m.
Where: Baldwin's Station parking lot at 7618 Main St., Sykesville
Cost: $30 for ERR members, $35 for nonmembers
Registration: Register in advance online at active.com or in-person at Tri Sport Junction at 7568 Main St, Sykesville. Register in-person on race day under the tent in the parking lot at Baldwin's Station.