Run By The River set for Saturday

Published 9:44 pm Saturday, June 4, 2016

For The Tribune


RUSSELL, Ky. — Runners from throughout the Tri-State will head to Russell this weekend for the 39th annual East Greenup Kiwanis Club Run By The River.

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Run By The River is a 5K and 10K competitive race with divisions for men and women runners and walkers. It is considered Kentucky’s oldest continually operating road race.

The races start at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Russell fire station.

Runners whose ages ranged from 17 to 83 had preregistered for the race through late last week representing runners from Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and one from North Carolina according to Tim Gearhart, race director.

Besides trophies to the winners and runners-up in both the 5K and 10K races, men and women, the club offers several special competitions within the 5K race, including civic or faith-based groups, a stroller division, a top dog division (runners with canines), father-son, mother-daughter, father-daughter, mother-son and a wheelchair competition. Walkers are also welcome.

“Runners consider our race to be one of the best running events in the tri-state,” Gearhart said. “We have a beautiful course along the Ohio River that is flat and fast and runners get a top quality tech shirt for participating.

“This will probably be the final run underneath the old Ironton-Russell Bridge as a new bridge nears completition. The old bridge is slated for demolition, although there is an effort underway to save it as a walking bridge.”

Medals are awarded to the top 3 finishers in each of 16 age groups that start at 9 and under and end at 80 and over.

“We are one of only a few races that recognize runners in the youngest age group and the older runners,” Gearhart said.

In addition, all runners 9-and-under receive a participation medal if they are not a winner in their age group. Walkers get times but no awards.

Registration tables open at 7 a.m. in the parking lot next to the Russell Senior Citizens Center. The entry fee is $20 for those 14 and under and $25 for all others.

The race course starts by the Russell fire station and ends at the Senior Center parking lot, and travels along Riverside Drive underneath the Ironton-Russell Bridge, then along the River Road through Worthington and back.

For 5K runners, there is a turnaround point on the River Road.

Russell and Worthington police are 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 excellent,” Gearhart said, noting there are 23 sponsoring businesses plus others who are providing race supplies.

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