Y Notes

Venturing out of the comfort zone for a good cause - blog post image

Venturing out of the comfort zone for a good cause

  •  

    Over the past week, dozens of people have ventured outside their comfort zones on two separate occasions, all on behalf of the YMCA.

    Last Wednesday, the YMCA conducted its’ annual Partners With Youth (PWY) phone-a-thon campaign, where dozens of volunteers made hundreds of calls on behalf of the YMCA’s scholarship program.

    First, thank you to everyone who made a donation or a pledge to the 2019 PWY campaign. Every dollar stays local, providing financial assistance toward youth sports fee, the Live Y’ers after-school program and memberships for both families and individuals. If you did not receive a call and would like to support this program with a donation, please contact the YMCA.

    But it was those volunteers, who were asked to call people and ask for a donation, who really pushed their boundaries.

    For many volunteers, asking for money is harder than speaking in front of room full of people. Asking for donations is more uncomfortable than walking around in a swimsuit in public. Asking for a pledge is tougher than getting through Martha Chmiel’s weight-lifting class at the Y - no small task.

    The situation was eased a bit, thanks to the generosity of Matt and Shelly Sehnert, who opened up the bakery for the evening, which is a wonderful home-base to make the calls. Asking for money is always made easier with pizza and drinks and friends nearby.

    Another group of people also tested new waters this weekend…literally.

    On Sunday, 22 people participated in the YMCA’s Indoor Sprint Triathlon with proceeds going toward the Partners with Youth scholarship program. Of those nearly two dozen triathletes, half had never competed in a triathlon. Most likely, they had never done swimming, biking and running all on the same day ever before. And one person, a YMCA member, admitted that he had never even been in the YMCA pool...ever.

    Leading up to the triathlon, questions from participants were all over the board. “Can I wear floaties?” - If you aren’t too embarrassed to look like a four-year-old, knock yourself out.

    “I’m in my 60s. Am I too old?” - There was no age limit. In fact, our triathletes ranged in age from 12 to 65, showing there is no age limit when it comes to being active.

    “Do I have time to shave my legs between the swim and the bike?” - I think they were joking. But when we had to tell one triathlete to rinse the shampoo from her hair so we could start the bike portion, I’m not sure.

    Thank you again to who donated to the Partners with Youth campaign this year, who volunteered to ask for donations or who decided trying not to drown for 10 minutes in a triathlon was a great way to make a donation.

    ***

    In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a bit of snow here and there on the ground. And if the weather forecasts are even a wee bit accurate, there is likely going to be more winter weather on the way this weekend...and next weekend...perhaps coming to an end by the Fourth of July.

    And while I personally love the snow, it does inhibit the start of soccer season at the YMCA. Even you can get past the cold and the wind, it is difficult to hold a soccer game in the snow when you can’t see the out-of-bound lines. Not impossible, but very difficult.

    So there will be a delay to the YMCA’s soccer season. If you have already signed up your child, don’t start to worry yet if you haven’t received a call from a coach. And if you still haven’t signed up your child, whether in kindergarten or eighth grade, there is still time to get your child registered and not have to face the wrath of a 7-year-old who wanted to play soccer but can’t.

    And the Y will be contacting coaches and players soon with an updated plan for the soccer season, as soon as snow isn’t in the forecast every day...so possibly April.

     


     Text

  • 01-Mar-2019

 

Over the past week, dozens of people have ventured outside their comfort zones on two separate occasions, all on behalf of the YMCA.

Last Wednesday, the YMCA conducted its’ annual Partners With Youth (PWY) phone-a-thon campaign, where dozens of volunteers made hundreds of calls on behalf of the YMCA’s scholarship program.

First, thank you to everyone who made a donation or a pledge to the 2019 PWY campaign. Every dollar stays local, providing financial assistance toward youth sports fee, the Live Y’ers after-school program and memberships for both families and individuals. If you did not receive a call and would like to support this program with a donation, please contact the YMCA.

But it was those volunteers, who were asked to call people and ask for a donation, who really pushed their boundaries.

For many volunteers, asking for money is harder than speaking in front of room full of people. Asking for donations is more uncomfortable than walking around in a swimsuit in public. Asking for a pledge is tougher than getting through Martha Chmiel’s weight-lifting class at the Y - no small task.

The situation was eased a bit, thanks to the generosity of Matt and Shelly Sehnert, who opened up the bakery for the evening, which is a wonderful home-base to make the calls. Asking for money is always made easier with pizza and drinks and friends nearby.

Another group of people also tested new waters this weekend…literally.

On Sunday, 22 people participated in the YMCA’s Indoor Sprint Triathlon with proceeds going toward the Partners with Youth scholarship program. Of those nearly two dozen triathletes, half had never competed in a triathlon. Most likely, they had never done swimming, biking and running all on the same day ever before. And one person, a YMCA member, admitted that he had never even been in the YMCA pool...ever.

Leading up to the triathlon, questions from participants were all over the board. “Can I wear floaties?” - If you aren’t too embarrassed to look like a four-year-old, knock yourself out.

“I’m in my 60s. Am I too old?” - There was no age limit. In fact, our triathletes ranged in age from 12 to 65, showing there is no age limit when it comes to being active.

“Do I have time to shave my legs between the swim and the bike?” - I think they were joking. But when we had to tell one triathlete to rinse the shampoo from her hair so we could start the bike portion, I’m not sure.

Thank you again to who donated to the Partners with Youth campaign this year, who volunteered to ask for donations or who decided trying not to drown for 10 minutes in a triathlon was a great way to make a donation.

***

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a bit of snow here and there on the ground. And if the weather forecasts are even a wee bit accurate, there is likely going to be more winter weather on the way this weekend...and next weekend...perhaps coming to an end by the Fourth of July.

And while I personally love the snow, it does inhibit the start of soccer season at the YMCA. Even you can get past the cold and the wind, it is difficult to hold a soccer game in the snow when you can’t see the out-of-bound lines. Not impossible, but very difficult.

So there will be a delay to the YMCA’s soccer season. If you have already signed up your child, don’t start to worry yet if you haven’t received a call from a coach. And if you still haven’t signed up your child, whether in kindergarten or eighth grade, there is still time to get your child registered and not have to face the wrath of a 7-year-old who wanted to play soccer but can’t.

And the Y will be contacting coaches and players soon with an updated plan for the soccer season, as soon as snow isn’t in the forecast every day...so possibly April.

 


 Text

Don't forget these activities in the fall

  • While we may be elbow deep in fall sports right now, we should not forget that there are other opportunities available for kids at the YMCA.

    For example, high school swim teams don’t start practice until November, but the YMCA youth swim leagues will kick off their first practices right after Labor Day.

    Registration is now open for the McCook YMCA swim team, which is open to anyone who can swim the length of the pool without assistance, using any stroke with fairly good form.

    There is some leeway on “good form” because anyone who has watched me swim, especially when fatigue has set in, may wonder if they should jump in and save me from drowning.

    The purpose of swim team is not teach someone how to swim, but to rather develop and improve their swim form.

    But swim team also instills a life-long love of swimming, whether for fun or competitively.

    While the season is rather long with practices and meets from September through March, the schedule is very flexible.

    Practices are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

    But life does get in the way, so participants are encouraged to attend as many days as possible.

    After all, the old adage still holds true: you get of something, what you put into it.

    Because the swim teams travels to other YMCA pools for swim meets, participants are required to be YMCA members.

    But otherwise, there are no age restrictions or skill level requirements. Just a desire to get better and to have fun.

    After taking a hiatus for the summer, Rookie Sports resumes next week.

    The league is open to four- and five-year-olds as a way to introduce them to a variety of sports throughout the year.

    The skill-development program is designed to introduce children to the basics of sports in a fun and inviting environment, featuring a new skill and sport each session, which is one month long,

    The league is designed to teach the fundamentals of sports and other activities such as yoga and Zumba, while emphasizing learning, confidence building, socialization and most of all - having fun.

    Parents can sign up for a month at a time or for the entire school year or just for the sports they would like their child to try.

    Rookie Sports takes place every Wednesday from 5:15-6 p.m., long enough to cover a skill or two, but short enough to keep their attention.

    Well, keep it as long as you can keep a four-year-old’s attention.

    And another event taking place right now might be overlooked and seem out of season.

    Typically, lifeguard training hits high gear in the spring as kids and adults get ready for the summer swim season.

    But the YMCA is offering an American Red Cross lifeguard training session the next two weekends (counts as one session), as well as a second session over Christmas break.

    The YMCA pool does not close down just because the weather turns colder.

    In fact, the swimming pool is just as busy - if not busier - over the winter.

    Between swim lessons, fitness classes and swim team practices, the pool is scheduled every moment of the day with some sort of activity.

    If we could add another lane or two to the pool, I’m sure we would be able to fill it with something…and not just water.

    For more information about any of these activities, please check out the YMCA website, www.mccookymca.org.

     Text

  • 24-Aug-2018

While we may be elbow deep in fall sports right now, we should not forget that there are other opportunities available for kids at the YMCA.

For example, high school swim teams don’t start practice until November, but the YMCA youth swim leagues will kick off their first practices right after Labor Day.

Registration is now open for the McCook YMCA swim team, which is open to anyone who can swim the length of the pool without assistance, using any stroke with fairly good form.

There is some leeway on “good form” because anyone who has watched me swim, especially when fatigue has set in, may wonder if they should jump in and save me from drowning.

The purpose of swim team is not teach someone how to swim, but to rather develop and improve their swim form.

But swim team also instills a life-long love of swimming, whether for fun or competitively.

While the season is rather long with practices and meets from September through March, the schedule is very flexible.

Practices are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

But life does get in the way, so participants are encouraged to attend as many days as possible.

After all, the old adage still holds true: you get of something, what you put into it.

Because the swim teams travels to other YMCA pools for swim meets, participants are required to be YMCA members.

But otherwise, there are no age restrictions or skill level requirements. Just a desire to get better and to have fun.

After taking a hiatus for the summer, Rookie Sports resumes next week.

The league is open to four- and five-year-olds as a way to introduce them to a variety of sports throughout the year.

The skill-development program is designed to introduce children to the basics of sports in a fun and inviting environment, featuring a new skill and sport each session, which is one month long,

The league is designed to teach the fundamentals of sports and other activities such as yoga and Zumba, while emphasizing learning, confidence building, socialization and most of all - having fun.

Parents can sign up for a month at a time or for the entire school year or just for the sports they would like their child to try.

Rookie Sports takes place every Wednesday from 5:15-6 p.m., long enough to cover a skill or two, but short enough to keep their attention.

Well, keep it as long as you can keep a four-year-old’s attention.

And another event taking place right now might be overlooked and seem out of season.

Typically, lifeguard training hits high gear in the spring as kids and adults get ready for the summer swim season.

But the YMCA is offering an American Red Cross lifeguard training session the next two weekends (counts as one session), as well as a second session over Christmas break.

The YMCA pool does not close down just because the weather turns colder.

In fact, the swimming pool is just as busy - if not busier - over the winter.

Between swim lessons, fitness classes and swim team practices, the pool is scheduled every moment of the day with some sort of activity.

If we could add another lane or two to the pool, I’m sure we would be able to fill it with something…and not just water.

For more information about any of these activities, please check out the YMCA website, www.mccookymca.org.

 Text

Nothing to do? Not in McCook

  • Today, I dropped off the third Graff child for college at UNL.

    A few weeks ago, we were talking about all the things he would be able to do in Lincoln, from meeting new people to participating in new opportunities to attending new events.

    That is when he lamented that McCook didn’t offer those same options.

    It is true that McCook doesn’t have the same range of restaurants and shopping and can’t host the same number of activities; we simply don’t have the population base to support everything we want here.

    But you cannot say we don’t have anything to do.

    This past weekend is a perfect example of amply opportunities and activities in the area, from Old Settlers in Indianola, to the Malleck Memorial Thrashing to the Prairie Roots Festival in Barnett Park.

    And those are just a few of the events around the area.

    But it took people coming up with an idea. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does take willingness to devote time and energy to a plan.

    For example, look at the Dive-In Movie, the YMCA hosted Friday with Youth Change Reaction as a back-to-school event for 11-19 year olds.

    It’s a simple idea: show a scary, water-themed movie while sitting in the water.

    But the idea involved collaboration between the YMCA and YCR and McCook High School, which loaned the video and audio equipment.

    It took organization to figure out how to create a movie theater in the pool area.

    And it took people willing to give up their night to host the event.

    A huge thank-you to YMCA Aquatic Director Anna Sis and her lifeguards, Alex Erickson, Alissa Erickson and Moriah Payton, for guarding the pool during the movie.

    The response before and after has been great to the event and it is something the YMCA hopes to again, perhaps showing Finding Nemo and Little Mermaid for the younger crowd or Sharknado (so bad, the original made-for-TV-movie has three sequels) for an adult-themed evening.

    People wants things to do for themselves and their families, but that requires stepping up to help when asked or when you see an opportunity.

    Another great example is youth sports at the YMCA, which cannot function without volunteers.

    With youth flag football and youth volleyball registration ending Friday - hint, hint parents - teams will be forming, which means coaches, assistant coaches and officials will be in high demand.

    We need parents and adults willing to step in and coach their child and someone else’s child. (O.K. it’s not always necessary to coach your own child and in fact, I’ve discovered it can actually be easier to not coach your own child.)

    It is a commitment of time, of expertise and most importantly, of patience.

    Without those willing to step up, we wouldn’t have a program.

    So thank you in advance to those volunteering this fall for youth sports.

    Many people will say they are already busy.

    And that is true.

    But if we want to have a vibrant, successful community, we need to people willing to volunteer for these events and activities.

    And then - and this is almost just as important - take the next step:

    Show up for these activities.

    I’m not making this last part up:

    While standing in the middle of Prairie Roots Festival concert on Sunday, someone lamented to one of the organizers that there was nothing to do in McCook and that we needed more fun events.

    It would have been funny if he didn’t have to shout his concern over the music.

     Text

  • 17-Aug-2018

Today, I dropped off the third Graff child for college at UNL.

A few weeks ago, we were talking about all the things he would be able to do in Lincoln, from meeting new people to participating in new opportunities to attending new events.

That is when he lamented that McCook didn’t offer those same options.

It is true that McCook doesn’t have the same range of restaurants and shopping and can’t host the same number of activities; we simply don’t have the population base to support everything we want here.

But you cannot say we don’t have anything to do.

This past weekend is a perfect example of amply opportunities and activities in the area, from Old Settlers in Indianola, to the Malleck Memorial Thrashing to the Prairie Roots Festival in Barnett Park.

And those are just a few of the events around the area.

But it took people coming up with an idea. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does take willingness to devote time and energy to a plan.

For example, look at the Dive-In Movie, the YMCA hosted Friday with Youth Change Reaction as a back-to-school event for 11-19 year olds.

It’s a simple idea: show a scary, water-themed movie while sitting in the water.

But the idea involved collaboration between the YMCA and YCR and McCook High School, which loaned the video and audio equipment.

It took organization to figure out how to create a movie theater in the pool area.

And it took people willing to give up their night to host the event.

A huge thank-you to YMCA Aquatic Director Anna Sis and her lifeguards, Alex Erickson, Alissa Erickson and Moriah Payton, for guarding the pool during the movie.

The response before and after has been great to the event and it is something the YMCA hopes to again, perhaps showing Finding Nemo and Little Mermaid for the younger crowd or Sharknado (so bad, the original made-for-TV-movie has three sequels) for an adult-themed evening.

People wants things to do for themselves and their families, but that requires stepping up to help when asked or when you see an opportunity.

Another great example is youth sports at the YMCA, which cannot function without volunteers.

With youth flag football and youth volleyball registration ending Friday - hint, hint parents - teams will be forming, which means coaches, assistant coaches and officials will be in high demand.

We need parents and adults willing to step in and coach their child and someone else’s child. (O.K. it’s not always necessary to coach your own child and in fact, I’ve discovered it can actually be easier to not coach your own child.)

It is a commitment of time, of expertise and most importantly, of patience.

Without those willing to step up, we wouldn’t have a program.

So thank you in advance to those volunteering this fall for youth sports.

Many people will say they are already busy.

And that is true.

But if we want to have a vibrant, successful community, we need to people willing to volunteer for these events and activities.

And then - and this is almost just as important - take the next step:

Show up for these activities.

I’m not making this last part up:

While standing in the middle of Prairie Roots Festival concert on Sunday, someone lamented to one of the organizers that there was nothing to do in McCook and that we needed more fun events.

It would have been funny if he didn’t have to shout his concern over the music.

 Text

Looking for something different

  • Sure, there is the swimming pool and swim lessons at the YMCA. There are the fitness classes, the weight room and the cardio equipment. And of course, there are the adult and youth sports every season.

    But several activities - which are just a little bit different - are kicking off the summer.

    ___

    For starters, the YMCA is hosting Nerf Wars in July. With separate age divisions, Nerf Wars is open to those as young as four years of age to those entering eighth grade.

    For the uninitiated, Nerf guns fire foam bullets, usually with multiple rounds available before needing to reload.

    In terms of toys laying around my house, Nerf guns are just slightly above Legos on my tolerance level. The bullets don’t hurt to step on, unlike the thousands of Lego pieces camouflaged on my carpet until my foot lands on them. But just like Legos, the Nerf bullets are everywhere around my house after a couple rounds: in the corner of the living room, on top of the fridge, in the dog food dish.

    I’ll tolerate them lying around the house for a day or two but then they “disappear” when I sweep the house. Hence, the need to constantly replenish our supply of Nerf bullets.

    For the YMCA’s Nerf Wars, participants only need bring a Nerf gun and safety eyewear. The bullets will be supplied, which is convenient. On the other hand, that could be incentive for my son to play: He can only participate if he picks up every Nerf bullet in our house.

    ___

    Also up this summer is the YMCA’s Lazy Man Triathlon. While the program officially kicked off Monday, there is still time to sign up and start racking up the miles swimming, biking and running.

    For a full-length triathlon, participants usually complete all three distances - 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run or walk - one right after the other on one day. Elite triathletes will take from 8-9 hours to complete a full-length triathlon, while the rest of us like to get our money’s worth and use up the full 17 hours allotted.

    But the Lazy Man Triathlon allows even more time. Participants will have until July 15 to log all their miles and those miles can be in or out of the YMCA. But the longer you wait to sign-up, the shorter amount of time you have to complete the triathlon and earn your sweatshirt. In theory, you could wait until July 15 and complete all the miles that Sunday, but I’m going to advise against that plan.

    ___

    But quickly approaching is a triathlon which you can complete in one day.

    The Michelle Walter’s Memorial Triathlon is Saturday, June 23 at the McCook City Pool.

    Michelle’s Tri is the fifth event in the Republican River Fitness Series, which is sponsored by the YMCA and Community Hospital.

    This is a sprint triathlon, which is a 500-yard swim, 14-mile bike and 5K run or walk. I should add that the swim portion can be covered either by swimming in the deep end or walking in the shallow end of the pool, so don’t let the swimming discourage you from participating.

    If completing all three portions seems overwhelming, you can also sign up as a relay team with each person taking one section of the triathlon.

    If even that seems like too much, consider volunteering to help at the triathlon. For many participants, this will be their first triathlon and they can never have too much encouragement and support on the course.

    Plus, it’s just fun to watch people try to pull themselves out of the city pool after their swim. Cheap entertainment plus helping out for a good cause - it’s a win-win.

     

     Text

  • 15-Jun-2018

Sure, there is the swimming pool and swim lessons at the YMCA. There are the fitness classes, the weight room and the cardio equipment. And of course, there are the adult and youth sports every season.

But several activities - which are just a little bit different - are kicking off the summer.

___

For starters, the YMCA is hosting Nerf Wars in July. With separate age divisions, Nerf Wars is open to those as young as four years of age to those entering eighth grade.

For the uninitiated, Nerf guns fire foam bullets, usually with multiple rounds available before needing to reload.

In terms of toys laying around my house, Nerf guns are just slightly above Legos on my tolerance level. The bullets don’t hurt to step on, unlike the thousands of Lego pieces camouflaged on my carpet until my foot lands on them. But just like Legos, the Nerf bullets are everywhere around my house after a couple rounds: in the corner of the living room, on top of the fridge, in the dog food dish.

I’ll tolerate them lying around the house for a day or two but then they “disappear” when I sweep the house. Hence, the need to constantly replenish our supply of Nerf bullets.

For the YMCA’s Nerf Wars, participants only need bring a Nerf gun and safety eyewear. The bullets will be supplied, which is convenient. On the other hand, that could be incentive for my son to play: He can only participate if he picks up every Nerf bullet in our house.

___

Also up this summer is the YMCA’s Lazy Man Triathlon. While the program officially kicked off Monday, there is still time to sign up and start racking up the miles swimming, biking and running.

For a full-length triathlon, participants usually complete all three distances - 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run or walk - one right after the other on one day. Elite triathletes will take from 8-9 hours to complete a full-length triathlon, while the rest of us like to get our money’s worth and use up the full 17 hours allotted.

But the Lazy Man Triathlon allows even more time. Participants will have until July 15 to log all their miles and those miles can be in or out of the YMCA. But the longer you wait to sign-up, the shorter amount of time you have to complete the triathlon and earn your sweatshirt. In theory, you could wait until July 15 and complete all the miles that Sunday, but I’m going to advise against that plan.

___

But quickly approaching is a triathlon which you can complete in one day.

The Michelle Walter’s Memorial Triathlon is Saturday, June 23 at the McCook City Pool.

Michelle’s Tri is the fifth event in the Republican River Fitness Series, which is sponsored by the YMCA and Community Hospital.

This is a sprint triathlon, which is a 500-yard swim, 14-mile bike and 5K run or walk. I should add that the swim portion can be covered either by swimming in the deep end or walking in the shallow end of the pool, so don’t let the swimming discourage you from participating.

If completing all three portions seems overwhelming, you can also sign up as a relay team with each person taking one section of the triathlon.

If even that seems like too much, consider volunteering to help at the triathlon. For many participants, this will be their first triathlon and they can never have too much encouragement and support on the course.

Plus, it’s just fun to watch people try to pull themselves out of the city pool after their swim. Cheap entertainment plus helping out for a good cause - it’s a win-win.

 

 Text

Going off-road for fitness series

  •  

    Last weekend, the Republican River Fitness Series went off-road...and into the river...and over some logs...and through some sand, lots of sand, as part of the Republican River Adventure Run.

    Hosted by the Hitchcock County Schools Foundation, the race in Trenton is the smallest event in the fitness series, which is sponsored by the YMCA and Community Hospital.

    But the adventure run is perhaps my favorite because it is features a course unlike any other. (Thank you to the land-owners who let us run through their fields for the day.)

    The 3.1 miles - or somewhat close to that - covers a high school track surface, cement stairs, grass, dirt and logs and crosses the Republican River at least twice. But as everyone crossed the finish line Saturday, the most common refrain was, “There was a lot of sand.”

    I admit that I didn’t run the course until the Monday after the race. And everyone was right about the sand; there was a lot of it compared to previous years. It was along the river banks and among the trees. And the course winds around the edge of a sand and gravel company, which looks like it has doubled its’ digging site since last year, giving us more sand to traipse through.

    To say that running through sand is a workout is an understatement. Your foot slides every time you put it down. And as you push off, your foot slips just a little bit.

    And it isn’t just the sand which can trip people up.

    We never know until the day of the race if we will be able to cross the river, despite building bridges for the event. While the foundation board members did their best to create a stable bridge, one or two participants finished with wet shoes.

    As I ran the course Monday, I was reminded why I like this race so much. I came within a few few of several deer, the river was teeming with fish along the shore line, and I saw birds around every turn….all while trying to maintain my footing on the sand.

    In addition to our overall male and female winners, Caleb Wilkinson and Stacy Blomstedt, I want to give a shout-out to all 40 of our runners and walkers who participated in Saturday’s event. It is a tough course but not one they will forget anytime soon.

     

    Next up is the biggest event of the series: the Community Hospital’s Just for Fun Walk/Run on Thursday, May 10. The race starts at 6 p.m. at the hospital’s Patient Accounts building on East H and 11th streets. Don’t’ worry, it is easy to find. Just look for all the people standing around like they want to walk or run a few miles.

    What makes Just for Fun Run/Walk the biggest event? Maybe it is the course along McCook’s beautiful walking trail. Maybe it is the door prizes at the end the race. But I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it is the cost.

    Thanks to Community Hospital, there is no charge for the Just for Fun Walk/Run next week. The race still includes awards for the top three in each age divisions, points in the fitness series for those who place in the top 5 of their age division and, of course, snacks waiting at the finish line. But there is no fee for the Just for Fun Run/Walk.

    Registration is open online now until 5:45 p.m. next Thursday at www.republicanriverfitnessseries.com. Race-day registration is 4:45-5:45 p.m. at the Patient Accounts building.

    That being said, your phone or your computer is likely within arms reach as you read this, so you could do it right now instead of adding it to your never-ending to-do list.

    The run is a great way to spend an evening with family and friends. And you can’t beat the cost.

     

     Text

  • 03-May-2018

 

Last weekend, the Republican River Fitness Series went off-road...and into the river...and over some logs...and through some sand, lots of sand, as part of the Republican River Adventure Run.

Hosted by the Hitchcock County Schools Foundation, the race in Trenton is the smallest event in the fitness series, which is sponsored by the YMCA and Community Hospital.

But the adventure run is perhaps my favorite because it is features a course unlike any other. (Thank you to the land-owners who let us run through their fields for the day.)

The 3.1 miles - or somewhat close to that - covers a high school track surface, cement stairs, grass, dirt and logs and crosses the Republican River at least twice. But as everyone crossed the finish line Saturday, the most common refrain was, “There was a lot of sand.”

I admit that I didn’t run the course until the Monday after the race. And everyone was right about the sand; there was a lot of it compared to previous years. It was along the river banks and among the trees. And the course winds around the edge of a sand and gravel company, which looks like it has doubled its’ digging site since last year, giving us more sand to traipse through.

To say that running through sand is a workout is an understatement. Your foot slides every time you put it down. And as you push off, your foot slips just a little bit.

And it isn’t just the sand which can trip people up.

We never know until the day of the race if we will be able to cross the river, despite building bridges for the event. While the foundation board members did their best to create a stable bridge, one or two participants finished with wet shoes.

As I ran the course Monday, I was reminded why I like this race so much. I came within a few few of several deer, the river was teeming with fish along the shore line, and I saw birds around every turn….all while trying to maintain my footing on the sand.

In addition to our overall male and female winners, Caleb Wilkinson and Stacy Blomstedt, I want to give a shout-out to all 40 of our runners and walkers who participated in Saturday’s event. It is a tough course but not one they will forget anytime soon.

 

Next up is the biggest event of the series: the Community Hospital’s Just for Fun Walk/Run on Thursday, May 10. The race starts at 6 p.m. at the hospital’s Patient Accounts building on East H and 11th streets. Don’t’ worry, it is easy to find. Just look for all the people standing around like they want to walk or run a few miles.

What makes Just for Fun Run/Walk the biggest event? Maybe it is the course along McCook’s beautiful walking trail. Maybe it is the door prizes at the end the race. But I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it is the cost.

Thanks to Community Hospital, there is no charge for the Just for Fun Walk/Run next week. The race still includes awards for the top three in each age divisions, points in the fitness series for those who place in the top 5 of their age division and, of course, snacks waiting at the finish line. But there is no fee for the Just for Fun Run/Walk.

Registration is open online now until 5:45 p.m. next Thursday at www.republicanriverfitnessseries.com. Race-day registration is 4:45-5:45 p.m. at the Patient Accounts building.

That being said, your phone or your computer is likely within arms reach as you read this, so you could do it right now instead of adding it to your never-ending to-do list.

The run is a great way to spend an evening with family and friends. And you can’t beat the cost.

 

 Text