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Running event part of Logger Days

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| June 11, 2009 12:00 AM

In an attempt to bring an annual running event to Libby, the Logger Days 5K/10K Fun Run for Health will make its debut on the morning of June 27.

The idea grew out of chatter among local running enthusiasts and soon thereafter, health organizations expressed their interest in becoming involved.

“We had been discussing putting on a race of this type and some individuals at the Lincoln County Community Health Center overheard us,” said Chris Colson, race director. “They thought it would be a great way to promote healthy lifestyles and cardiovascular health in the community.”

In past years, running events associated with the Health Fair and cross-country ski club had been staged but as Colson put it, “nothing seemed to stick.” The Backcountry Wildman competition is popular but can be a challenge for those who are new to running or training.

“We figured that it would be really nice to have a local event, presumably an annual one, that was early in the temperate part of the year and was at a popular manageable distance,” Colson said.

After the community health center became involved, St. John’s Lutheran Hospital came on board to boost their support. Montana Athletic Club and the Kootenai Cross Country Ski Club are also partners.

“Although our focus is on boosting awareness of healthy and active lifestyles in the Lincoln County community, we also know that there is a pretty enthusiastic running community throughout Montana who travel great distances for running races, triathlons, etc.,” Colson said. “Now we’ve given runners from all over a reason to visit Libby and stick around for Logger Days weekend.”

Pairing up a 5K and 10K with a local festival seemed like a natural. Plus, Logger Days is staged at a pretty good time of the year as far as running goes.

“Runs are definitely better when it’s cooler and the June 27 weekend seemed perfect,” Colson said. “They thought it was a great idea, not only the health promotions event aspect, but it also helps encourage spectators for the parade.”

The Fun Run is scheduled to begin on that Saturday at 8 a.m.

“We wanted the route to celebrate downtown Libby and highlight some neat aspects of the city,” Colson said. “The route was tailored to ensure runner’s safety and to minimize any disruption to traffic, while still taking advantage of some of the historic and beautiful aspects of town.”

Colson said the route passes through the medical corridor, crosses the Kootenai with runners able to experience the old haul bridge, circles the flagpole and goes the length of Mineral Avenue.

Runners and walkers of all age groups are invited to participate.

“The 5K race, which is just over three miles long, should be a fun and scenic challenge for our walkers,” Colson said. “Because we are constrained by the start time of the parade, walkers will only be allowed in the 5K. The 10K race will feature some great competition and could be an interesting show of speed at the finish.”

Colson said things are looking pretty good in terms of volunteers. He hopes that the local community will offer their support for the event.

“Really, because we look at this as a building year, we would really encourage folks to participate (walk or run), or come out and cheer racers along. That would be the biggest help,” Colson said.

The registration fee is $10 for those who sign-up by Friday, June 12. All entry forms must be postmarked by that date to qualify for the discounted rate. After Friday, the entry fee goes up to $18 right up until the start of the race.

For more details, go online to: www.LibbyRunners.com or e-mail Colson at:

chrisc@LibbyRunners.com .