The Sun Life Chocolate Run is Saturday at Copper Sky.

The annual event that pairs people’s love of chocolate with exercise returns to Maricopa this month.

Sun Life Family Health Center will host the third annual “For the Love of Chocolate” Fun Run at Copper Sky on March 3.

Beginning at 8 a.m., participants can choose to run or walk the 1-mile or 3-mile course. A runner’s brunch will be available prior to and after the race as well as photo booths to capture the memory of the event.

Finishers will be rewarded with a bag of chocolate goodies, a chocolate donut medal and an event T-shirt.

Top three 5K finishers in various age groups will also receive winners’ medals.

Pre-registration costs $35 for the 1 mile/walk run and $40 for the 3-mile walk/run until March 2. A mail-in payment method is also available. Race-day registration is $40 per person for the 1-mile run/walk and $50 for the 3-mile run/walk.

“One of the things that people can keep in mind is Sun Life is Pinal County’s nonprofit community health center, and the run is a fun way to support a local nonprofit,” said Renee Louzon-Benn, director of community outreach.

It’s also a way to enjoy chocolate, which, in moderation, is considered a healthy treat, she said.

“(Chocolate) has health benefits, and we thought chocolate is fun and people enjoy it, so why not bring people, exercise and chocolate all into one event?”

Participants can pick up race packets March 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sun Life Family Health Center, 44572 W. Bowlin Road. Packets can also be retrieved the morning of the event beginning at 7 a.m.

This story appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

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