Annual Run-by-the-River race attracts runners across Tri-State

Published 1:16 am Tuesday, June 8, 2010

RUSSELL, Ky. — From Ironton, Proctorville, Kitts Hill and South Point and as far away as Billings, Montana, runners whose ages span 7 decades are preparing for the 33rd annual Run By The River, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Russell.

More than 100 have pre-registered for the race, which is considered one of the best in the Tri-State and the only one to offer both 5K and 10K race courses.

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of East Greenup County, Run By The River is Kentucky’s longest continuously operating road race.

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“Runners from ages 12 to 77 are preregistered for the races and if the weather cooperates as it has in the past I’m hoping for a record turnout,” said Tim Gearhart, race director.

“Runners consider our race to be one of the premiere running events in the tri-state. We have a beautiful course along the Ohio River that is flat and fast and we offer divisions for wheelchair participants and walkers.”

Trophies are awarded to the top male and female winners 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. Runners 10 and under receive a medal and a trophy is awarded to the top finisher in a wheelchair. There are no awards for walkers.

“While we love all our runners, we pay special attention to both our younger and older participants 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,” Gearhart said.

“Next year we’re adding an 80-plus category that will offer something special to all runners that age who finish either race.”

Last year, Run By The River attracted 234 runners. “I always hope we’ll attract just one more,” the race director said.

On race day, registration tables open at 7 a.m. in the parking lot next to SuperQuik. The entry fee is $15 for those 14 and under and $20 for all others. Paid entrants receive a t-shirt and other items.

The race course starts and ends at the old Central School Building 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 has been tremendous,” Gearhart said, noting there are 26 sponsoring businesses, plus others who are providing ice and other race supplies.

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.