Running On and On…

By Mark Schouviller

What started out as a way for the Chamber of Commerce in Cold Spring to promote fitness has morphed into the second longest annual road race in Minnesota.  The Red River Run, which is held in conjunction with Cold Springs Hometown Pride Days, is reaching a milestone this year, turning 40.  It is second only to Grandma’s Marathon, held annually in Duluth Minnesota.  Most people would argue that things typically do not get better with age, but the Red River Run is an exception to this rule.

Before the days of 5 or 10K, runners had to choose between a grueling 11 mile run or a 3 mile “joggers” special for this race.  Articles posted in the local fish wrap promoting the race advised potential runners to start their training early and slowly.  The goal of this was to promote physical fitness of their residents while providing an opportunity to get out and enjoy some fresh air.

The original Red River Run race was held on August 5, 1978.  For a registration fee of $2.00 runners were able to choose their desired distance (3 or 11 miles), a free t-shirt, and the promise of a cold shower available at the finish line.  This race saw 302 registered participants take part in the race.  Clad in best running attire, people traveled from as far as Salt Lake City, Utah and New Orleans, Louisiana, to participate in this event.  It also saw entire families running together, side by side to the finish line.  This was the beginning of history.

Over the years the Run has seen over 10,000 participants, of every age and skill level, take part in the race.  Runners range in age from as young as 2 (1K Fun Run) to over 75 years old and come back annually to run.  The purpose of the race has remained unchanged, providing an opportunity to challenge yourself and promote physical fitness.  Responsibility for organizing the race has shifted from the Chamber to the ROCORI Booster Club.  Countless hours are spent each year preparing for this event.  This is truly a community event, with many businesses and individuals pitching in to help make the day successful.  It wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of the committee.

The current version of the race includes 3 races, a 1K fun run for children, 5K and a 10K and will be hosted on July 29th, 2017 in Cold Spring, with events kicking off at 8 am.

Running is a way of life for some people and today there are more options than ever to get out and race.  It seems there is a 5K on almost every corner.  But you have the chance to part of history.  So come out and be part of a long standing tradition.  We look forward to seeing you.