Competitive runners, and people who just enjoy a stroll in the verdant countryside, are invited to take part in the 6th annual Off the Beaten Path, Walk/Run for Autism Awareness on Saturday, April 22 in Murphys Community Park.  The money raised will go to support Mind Matters, the Murphys based non-profit clinic that treats Autism and other learning disorders.

The multi-faceted event will feature a 10K run, open to men and women of all ages, that will take participants down Six Mile Road past Ironstone Vineyards.  Medallions will be awarded to the women and men with the fastest times in four age categories, 19 and younger, 20 to 39, 40 to 59, and 60 and over. There will also be a non-competitive 5K run.

Participants who would rather walk and chat than run are welcome to do so. In years past, many walkers have brought their well-behaved dogs to also enjoy the experience.  The animals may participate without charge.

Check-in time will start at 8 a.m.  At 8:45, Dr. Ryan Thompson, Mind Matters founder and Medical Director, and the clinic’s Executive Director Trudy Lackey, will welcome everyone and describe what the clinic has to offer.  Following a warm-up session, conducted by Kat Juarez, the 10K race will begin at 9 a.m. followed immediately by the 5k run and walk.

David Bowman will be the emcee for the day, including the 10:30 a.m. award ceremony, and DJ Rick Lyons will provide the festive music.  The event will end at 11 a.m.

The entry fee for all participants 8 and older is $30.  Younger girls and boys can take part without charge.  The first 100 paid registrants will be given an Off the Beaten Path t-shirt.

Entry blanks are available at the Mind Matters office, 150 Big Trees Rd. in Murphys.  Runners and walkers may register on Facebook, online at the clinic website or by calling 728-2184.  Participants may also register at the event.

El Dorado Savings Bank is the Off the Beaten Path major sponsor.

Mind Matters exists to help individuals and families cope with the consequences of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD), and Learning Disabilities.  The clinic does it through treatment, counseling, and education. It also strives to promote a better public understanding of these debilitating health issues. Mind Matters is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and donations to help extend its services are always welcome.