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Registration for the Run: Proceeds from event will go to Camp Grassick, cancer patients

Loretta Aipperspach, left, and Joyce Heinrich, members of the Jamestown Elkettes 995, are set up Thursday at Cork & Barrel, signing up participants for the annual Runnin O' the Green set for Saturday. (John M. Steiner / The Sun)

The 36th annual Runnin O’ the Green begins at 2 p.m. Saturday with heats of 400 runners descending into the city from Frontier Fort every 10 minutes.

Event founder Larry Knoblich said as of Thursday afternoon there were 206 registered runners, which he said is comparable to past years at this time. Knoblich expects that number to increase as the Elks Club Elkettes began actively recruiting runners at Cork & Barrel Thursday evening and today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Elks Club. Many  register between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the day of the event.

“They (Cork & Barrel) are anticipating a very busy night tonight and tomorrow,” Knoblich said Thursday. “If it follows the same as it did last year there’ll be a lot of people coming in tonight and again tomorrow afternoon to register.”

Registration is also available at Wildside Creations, which reported 130 commemorative shirts have been ordered, Knoblich said.

Proceeds from the event are used to fight cancer and the lion’s share goes to Camp Grassick, a summer camp for children and adults with special needs near Dawson, N.D., that offers six camping sessions throughout the season. Knoblich said the camp hasn’t always been the focus of the Run’s charitable drive. The very first beneficiary of the Run was a first-grade girl who lost a leg to cancer.

“That was a long time ago,” he said. “She’s now an attorney in Las Vegas, a graduate of law school in Washington, D.C.”

Knoblich said the event has continually picked up steam over the years. Camp Grassick came onto his radar because of his involvement with the Elks Club, which is responsible for funding the camp.

“I didn’t want Camp Grassick to have financial problems because the only way that Camp Grassick can run is because the Elks clubs in the state of North Dakota have to belly up to the bar and pay their share,” he said. “Well, we have fewer and fewer and fewer Elks clubs now, they’ve just been closing down and closing down.”

Weather worries?

The 34th annual Runnin O’ the Green in 2012 saw a record 2,260 participants on a 71-degree day. The next year, the temperature topped out at 11 with less-than-favorable travel conditions and the number of participants fell to 1,220.

“Last year was a pretty good indicator (of weather’s effect on registration),” Knoblich said. “Our registration was down a thousand whereas it has been increasing every year, so this year we’re hoping to get up to the 2,400 range. We lost a thousand people that didn’t get here last year; at $10 apiece, that’s $10,000 that doesn’t go to Camp Grassick, so that’s quite a hit.”

Meteorologist Patrick Ayd with the National Weather Service Office in Bismarck said the weather models he’s seen for Jamestown on Saturday show temperatures will decline.

“It’s going to be a little chilly,” Ayd said. “We’ll be doing highs in the 20s on Saturday and dropping down into the teens on Saturday night, so it’s definitely going to be chillier than we have been for the last few days. You’re going to be right on the edge of a band of snow; it looks like the majority of it’s going to be off to the west, but you might get maybe a dusting of snow at best.”

Ayd said 1 to 3 inches of snow could fall in the Williston, Bismarck/Mandan and Linton areas which could hamper travel for runners coming to Jamestown from the west. One model Ayd has seen even shows a possibility of accumulating snow here.

“(Snow) will be staying just off to the west but keep an eye on that. Other than that, the winds are not going to be too bad — northeast at 10 to 15 (mph) — that will add a little chill to the air,” said Ayd.

Knoblich said he’s not worried about a little cold air keeping runners away.

“We’re going to have it (the Run) no matter what,” he said.

Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at