PITTSFIELD -- The potential for humidity and rain showers has clearly not deterred too many people from running in Thursday's Independence Run 5K.

"We're running about 100 [registrants] ahead of last year," said race director Mike Hogue. "And usually by [Tuesday] and [Wednesday], it really picks up. So I would say at least as many runners as last year, which was 1,200-plus."

The event, a 3.1-mile race, is sponsored by Berkshire Medical Center. This is the 28th year of the race.

Right now, said Hogue, "the field is wide open."

Defending champion Klaus Schmidt has not registered yet, said Hogue.

The weather could be an issue. The forecasts indicate there is a chance of showers and that the morning will be hot and muggy.

"We're expecting it to be overcast, with some humidity," said Hogue. "Not ideal, but at least the sun won't be blazing down."

Hogue emphasized that all runners must be at the starting line between 8 and 8:30 a.m. to receive instructions and get a computer chip for timing purposes.

The starting line is about a half-mile past Wahconah Park. The race itself will start at 9:30 a.m.

Trophies will be awarded to the top five male and female finishers in 10 running categories.