More than 340 runners and walkers have now volunteered to help out the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation by registering for the 7th Annual Holdenwood Trail Run on Sunday, Sept. 29.

This event is nothing like running laps around a gym or ball field; it is more like taking a hike in the autumn woods with your family. Or, for those who enjoy the speed and the challenge, it could be like riding a horse in a steeplechase.

Whatever the race is compared to, the money raised by this event helps to purchase supplementary supplies and to sponsor special programs for the Ayer and Shirley schools.

Participation is not limited to those who live within the school district. Folks have been registering from across the state, from Shelburne Falls to West Roxbury. Even out-of-staters enjoy the well-groomed nature trail and are coming from Wethersfield, CT; Portsmouth, NH; Warwick RI, and West Point, NY.

Race headquarters and distribution of packets will be inside the Historic Center Town Hall, at 1 Parker Road in Shirley, starting at 8 a.m. on the 29th. The start of the 2K Run/Walk is 10 a.m. with the 5K and 10K starting at 11 a.m.

The participation fee/donation is only $25 for adults and $15 for kids, with folks over 65 able to enter the race for free. But the price does go up for those who wait until the day of the race to register.

First-place winners will receive gift cards and all participants will be able to get a free beer or ice cream at the Bull Run Restaurant after the race.

All details and online registration are available at http://www.holdenwoodtrailrun.org/.