Hotels filling up for Runnin O’ the GreenWhile the temperature struggles to break zero here, organizers are already preparing for one of the biggest annual events in Jamestown — the 35th Annual Runnin O’ the Green.
By: By Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
While the temperature struggles to break zero here, organizers are already preparing for one of the biggest annual events in Jamestown — the 35th Annual Runnin O’ the Green.
The citywide pub crawl is set for Saturday, March 16. Hotel rooms in Jamestown are already becoming a rare commodity for that night.
The Gladstone Inn & Suites is full for that night, according to Rhia Leno, front desk manager. There is a waiting list of at least 15, she said.
Holiday Inn Express has a few rooms left and the Quality Inn & Suites has quite a few left, according to hotel employees.
Letters and registration forms have been mailed out to registered participants from previous years. The reason behind the early send-out is to give people enough time to plan for the event.
“Over the years it has gotten to become for a lot of people a Jamestown homecoming,” said Dwaine Heinrich, assistant to Runnin O’ the Green founder Larry Knoblich. “For people around the country it’s a reminder for them, if they’re going to take time off work and make hotel reservations that they have to get to doing it because it’s not that far away.”
Last year saw an all-time high of participants with close to 2,300 registered runners. Most paid the $10 registration fee and some donated extra.
The event raised a total of $33,000. Of that amount, close to $23,000 was used to buy new beds, lifejackets and fire extinguishers for Elks Camp Grassick in Dawson, N.D. Elks Camp Grassick is a summer camp for adults and children with physical and mental disabilities.
Additionally $7,600 was distributed equally to 19 area cancer patients to be used for expenses.
Knoblich said Camp Grassick will still get funds from the run, but its financial situation has improved over the past three years, so he will look for another charity to help with run proceeds.
“I appreciate having been able to help them out,” Knoblich said. “I’m thinking of other charities we can go to that would be worthwhile.”
The day of the Runnin O’ the Green has become a weekend-long economic boom for restaurants, hotels, stores and, of course, bars in Jamestown.
The Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce estimated the run’s economic impact in Jamestown at about $500,000 in 2010.
This year the Elks Club has been added to the list of bars. The Jamestown Elks and Elkettes are the two major groups that help coordinate the event.
Knoblich said there will be a tent in the parking lot of the Elks where burgers and brats will be served. The parking lot will be fenced off as well to provide runners with extra space.
Other than the addition the route will remain the same.
Runners start at the Frontier Fort, make their way down the hill, and over to the Buffalo Bar. Runners then head to the Knights of Columbus, and over to the Elks Club. From there the route goes over to the Wonder Bar Sports Bar, the Corner Bar and the Office Bar. The final two bars are the All Vets Club and Shady’s.
Knoblich stressed again as in years past that runners need not consume an alcoholic beverage at each bar. Runners can drink any beverage of their choice, including water or soda.
With thousands expected to roam the streets of Jamestown, the police department is getting ready, according to Chief Scott Edinger.
“We’ll be doing a lot of things similar that we were doing last year,” Edinger said. “There shouldn’t be too many changes unless there are changes in the weather.”
He said officers are pretty lenient with minor offenses during the run. He also said serious problems rarely arise.
“The people during the run are there to have a good time and it’s rare we run into a person looking to cause a serious issue,” Edinger said.
Knoblich said he has already received some forms back from runners for this year, even though they were only mailed out last week.
Participants can register by stopping at Wild Side Creations. The early fee is $30 and includes a T-shirt. Otherwise runners can register the day before the run or the day of the run for $10. A valid ID is required.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com