The leaves have changed and, once again, set a beautiful scene for hosting our 12th Annual River Run, held on October 13. The River Run serves as the main annual fundraiser for the Jensen Community Center, which is a pillar in our community for entertainment, community events, senior meals, and kids’ activities.
It takes more than one hundred volunteers and countless hours to make a day like this possible. Along with those kind enough to volunteer their time before the race date, we had many great friends helping us out with parking and race registration to ensure things ran more smoothly than ever before. We had a record 1,500 participants run or walk through our town, and so we offer up a special thank you to the residents and business owners who may have seen more traffic and parking for a few hours. This event is a chance for us to show off all that Amherst has to offer!
Out on the course, you saw Portage County Sheriff’s Deputies and Amherst EMTs helping to ensure safety, and students from the Amherst Cross Country Team directing the racers! Once the runners got back, they floated in by music from local band Wilhelm and found tons of great things to eat, thereby supporting our local high school Spanish Club, the Iola Winter Sports Club ski team, coffee from Ruby Coffee Roasters who donated the proceeds of coffee, and from Baking for Friends, which donated sweets to volunteers on race morning! Runners were also treated with bagels and fruit provided by Amherst Family Foods, served up from representatives from Love Your Melon – which was at the race to help educate attendees about Pediatric Cancer. There were also children’s activities provided by the Amherst PTO and Amherst’s Own Child Care, who provided some fun and engaging kids’ games and activities outside. Participants were treated to complimentary massages from Samantha Diver of Massage Aesthetics and Adventure 212. Once again, the national anthem was performed this year by the barbershop quartet Regal Blend. Thank you to Sharpe Engineering and American Governor for allowing us to use their parking areas and electricity for announcing runners as they crossed the finish line. Thank you to this year’s River Run sponsors – American Rotary, Farmers State Bank, Amherst Family Foods, Adventure 212, Stuczynski Soils and Design, and Central Waters Brewing Company.
Many smiles and much laughter was shared throughout the day, making me proud to be a part of such a wonderful event. This was my fourth year as Race Director, and I can say with fidelity that it just keeps getting better. A town like ours relies on the Jensen Community Center for so many programs, entertainment, and strength-building community events. So from myself and all of us who worked on the run, thank you for the support of this important event for our area. See you next year!
-Chelsea Graham, River Run Race Director