Run by the River set for Saturday in downtown Russell

Published 2:01 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

RUSSELL, Ky. — From Louisa to Lexington in Kentucky, from Gallipolis to Portsmouth in Ohio and Wayne to Barboursville in West Virginia, runners whose ages span eight decades are ready for the 32nd annual Run By The River scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Russell.

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of East Greenup County, Ky., Run By The River features both 5K and 10K courses and is considered to be Kentucky’s longest continuously operating road races.

“Runners from ages 6 to 77 are currently pre-registered for the races and if the weather cooperates as it has in the past we should have a great day,” said race director Tim Gearhart.

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“Runners consider our race to be one of the premiere events in the tri-state and the only one to offer both 5K and 10K courses, as well as divisions for walkers and wheelchairs.

“We also pay special attention to both our younger and older runners by giving medals to all runners ages 10 and under and by having age categories for the older generation that runs to 75 and over.”

The pre-registration period ended last Saturday with almost 90 runners. Gearhart said the numbers usually swell by race time.

“Last year we had 200 runners. This year I’d like to see us have at least one more,” said Gearhart.

On race day, registration tables open at 7 a.m. The entry fee is $15 for those 14 and under and $20 for all others. Paid entrants receive a T-shirt and other items. Several door prizes will be given.

Trophies are awarded to the male and female winner in both the 5K and 10K races. In addition trophies are given in 14 age groups for both men and women in each road race, including a new category for those 75 and over.

Runners 10 and under receive a medal and a trophies are awarded for the top 3 finishers in wheelchairs. There are no awards for walkers.

The race course starts and ends at the old Central School Building next to Super Quik in downtown Russell, travels along Riverside Drive underneath the Ironton-Russell Bridge, then along the River Road through Worthington and back. A turnaround point is on the River Road for 5K runners.

Russell and Worthington police will be in charge of traffic control and the Greenup County Emergency Medical Service will be on stand-by.

“Support for this year’s race is tremendous,” Gearhart said, noting there are 22 sponsoring businesses, plus others who are providing water, ice and other race necessities.

Money raised by Run By The River is used for numerous Kiwanis civic projects, including sponsorship of Key Clubs at Russell, Raceland-Worthington and Greenup High Schools, a Builders Club at Russell Middle School, a Terrific Kids program at Wurtland Elementary, distribution of food baskets at Thanksgiving, scholarships to Key Club seniors at the three high schools, and an annual contribution to the county’s three school resource centers.