Run participants make the downhill scramble into McElroy Park
The trigger was pulled on the starting pistol and the first heat of runners began down the hill at 2 p.m. Saturday for Jamestown’s 36th annual Runnin O’ the Green.
Every year the 3-mile pub crawl begins at Frontier Fort with a downhill scramble into McElroy Park. The event raises thousands of dollars every year for people fighting cancer and Camp Grassick, a summer camp for children and adults with special needs.
Within two or three seconds of the starting gun the first runner fell, then another and several more. The hillside was a mix of mud and ice. The last 30 yards at the foot of the hill were iced over, causing most runners to slow their pace to a gingerly walk.
“Two steps down and I’m drenched in mud,” one runner said to his group as they crossed the bridge into the park.
“Look at his pants!” one of his companions said, failing to contain his laughter.
The first runner to reach the bottom of the hill lost his shoe and his lead as the runner behind him ninja rolled over one of the two boulders that sits on both sides of the bridge. Another runner stopped on the bridge to finish his beer after seeing the six pairs of signs posted on the bridge that declared the $50 fine for open container in public and $150 for public urination.
On the park side of the bridge, paramedic Josh Edwards with the Jamestown Area Ambulance was stationed in case a runner was injured. Edwards said he’s worked on three Runs and participated in the event last year. He said there was a moderate risk of injury on the hill this year.
“(The ice) concerns me a little bit,” he said. “Two years ago we had a fight, but that’s the only (ambulance run) I’ve been on.”
Ambulance crews responded to a report of a possible broken ankle on the hill at 2:41 p.m.
Angie Morrison of West Fargo, N.D., was participating in her third Run on Saturday with a group of three other friends. Calling herself a “natural” and a “veteran” of the Run, she said she had no problem getting down the hill and the secret was to keep moving.
“It was awesome,” she said. “Didn’t fall but you have to make sure you keep on running because otherwise you’ve got people in back pushing you. There’s a couple in our party that did fall — too many beers.”
For three sisters originally from South Dakota — who were also dressed in full costume as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — the event was a chance for family bonding.
“One last hurrah before we get too old,” said Rachel Schafer of Jamestown.
Schafer said she’s been on the Run multiple times while her sister, Erin Nielsen, from Clear Lake, S.D., had run twice before and her other sister, Amy Van Dyke from Denver, Colo., was making her maiden voyage down the hill.
“Go around the ice,” Schafer advised her.
Despite Saturday’s sunshine and the warm weather of recent days, the temperature was only 19 degrees at the start of the run and a steady breeze of about 15 mph cut the wind chill to 8 degrees. Last year’s high temperature was only 11 degrees. Shelby Boyer of Jamestown, who participated in the run last year said Saturday’s weather was much better than the previous Run.
“It’s a lot better,” she said. “It was like negative 20 last year, so it’s warmer.”
Danaris Qual of Jamestown said she has tried to participate in every Run since 1981, but she has missed a few years, including last year.
“I was in town but I didn’t do the Run,” she said. “I still buy (the commemorative shirt) and participate that way. I have every shirt that I was able to buy, but I’ve missed four since I started.”
Qual said she was happy to support the causes the event raises money for.
“It’s a good donation,” she said. “I believe they are giving to the right causes — Camp Grassick and cancer patients. Everybody has fun, keeps safe and it’s a good time.”
Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-318-0789 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org