By The Ely Outdoor Enthusiasts
The Ely Outdoor Enthusiasts enjoyed their third annual Take it to the Lake Half Marathon, 10k, and Kids Fun Run on Sept. 20. This event took place at Cave Lake State Park, where participants ran or walked a new out-and-back route from the park towards the highway on Cave Lake Road before turning around and heading back to cross the finish line beside Cave Lake.
Nancy Herms, the Ely Outdoor Enthusiasts Race Director, stated the event went a lot smoother this year because it did not start at the Ely Elk Viewing Area and therefore stayed off the busy highway. The group has been working to streamline their events, making logistics easier for participants and reducing the number of volunteers required.
This year’s half marathon and 10k boasted 15 more participants than the 2013 race. Similarly, the kids fun run had an additional 15 young runners.
“We attribute the bump in registrants to the new course,” said Herms. “I think the runners feel safer now that we’re off the highway. Running this course as an out-and-back from Cave Lake also means participants get some downhill, which everyone was grateful for.”
The Ely Outdoor Enthusiasts are a non-profit group whose mission is to encourage people to be active and lead healthy lifestyles through fitness events that raise funds for community-wide wellness while promoting tourism in White Pine County. Proceeds from their 2013 events were used this year to provide the Ely Learning Bridge Charter School with 16 flag-football sets for the grades K-7 physical education program. Proceeds generated in 2014 will go towards White Pine Middle School’s physical education program.
“We are very excited to give back to the community and to promote physical fitness and wellness,” Herms said. “We hope that the word will continue to spread about us and our events. Local community support whether it is sponsoring, participating, or volunteering has been excellent and remains a critical part in the success of our events.”
In 2015 the Ely Outdoor Enthusiasts will be organizing their annual Color Me Ely 5k in May and Take it to the Lake Half Marathon, 10k and Kids Fun Run in September, as well as the Bristlecone Birkebeiner, a cross-country ski race. For more information regarding these events, visit their webpage at www.elyoutdoorenthusiasts.org.