Now that I’ve caught my breath and have a moment to reflect, I am so excited to tell you all about what a great time the River Run was this year! A wonderful part of coming in as race director for a run in its ninth year is that it is a fairly well-oiled machine. Many of the volunteers were “old hats” at their positions, as some of them have been helping out with the race since the very first year in 2006. So many local friends attended as well as many first time visitors to Amherst. It was great to see our town in full swing, showing off our community on such a beautiful autumn morning.
Overall, there were nearly 980 people registered for the 5-mile run and the 2-mile walk. This almost-doubled attendance presented new challenges, as well as new opportunities! The festivities were all held at Central Waters Brewing Co. who were most generous to host the event, as well as donate a 22 oz. commemorative bottle of beer for every person who registered for the race! Along with food vendors scheduled for the Great Amherst Beer Fest, (a separate function), which ran from noon until 5 p.m., local groups also sold concessions. The Iola Winter Sports Club Nordic Ski Team grilled burgers and brats and the Amherst School Spanish Club sold their annual hit of walking tacos after the race. Vickie Vaughn baked shortbread and cookies to pair with Ruby Roasters coffee during the event; both local businesses donated a percentage of their profits to the Jensen Center. The Amherst High School Art Club also showed off their fused glass art while giving the crowd some photo opportunities with their “Instagram” frames and props. Lastly, for our little ones, Amherst’s Own Child Care offered stamping art activities and popcorn for the family. It was wonderful to walk through the building and see so many families enjoying the morning.
Thank you again to all of our participants and wonderful volunteers! Also, thank you to our food vendors and clubs that came to represent their place in our community. You all helped make this year’s River Run a success and we are so appreciative of your help! It takes a community to make this happen, and we have a great one! The next River Run is scheduled October 8th, 2016, and we hope to see you all next year!
Chelsea Graham, River Run