Smoke on the horizon for River Run event

Written on Sep 11th, 2012 by , Category News


WENATCHEE — The River Run Half-Marathon, 10K and 5K running event is still on for Saturday morning in Wenatchee, but organizers are monitoring the smoky skies brought about by fires burning in the region and plan to alert participants to the situation.

“The current air quality conditions from the fires have us very concerned for some of our runners and walkers and we are and will continue to monitor the situation very closely,” said Joel Rhyner, a partner in RunWenatchee, which organizes River Run. “We will post updates and recommendations in the next few days as we get closer to the event and we know more about the air-quality conditions.”

Rhyner said RunWenatchee plans to send out an e-mail alert later this week to everyone who has registered. It also will post updates on its Facebook page ( during the week.

Until the wildfires broke out this past weekend, River Run was gearing up for its best event yet — with registration and sponsorships above last year’s levels.

Event proceeds benefit the Wellness Place in Wenatchee and a few school groups.

All three races are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday at Centennial Park. Runners will leave the park, traverse the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail and end at the Wenatchee Center Plaza.

River Run has become a mainstay of the Taste of the Harvest, a street fair that takes up Wenatchee Avenue, from Second Street to Kittitas Street. The festival features arts-and-craft booths, live music, wine and beer gardens, Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market, kids activities, and other community attractions.

Last year, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people attended the festival. More than 100 booths and vendors will be present again this Saturday.

“We’ve had a lot of runners say how much they enjoy being able to go on an official run and then with their families and friends walk around and take in the street fair, get some food, and perhaps have a glass of wine or a beer,” said Steve Maher, a partner in RunWenatchee. “It makes for a real fun day for our participants.”

In keeping with that, River Run offers registrants $5 off the $20 wine garden ticket (15 pours from local wineries and a souvenir glass). The discount comes courtesy of a sponsorship with Wenatchee Wine Country, which puts on the wine garden.

River Run participant amenities include a finishers shirt. The top three in each age-group division also receive a medal.

People can register online through midnight Thursday at They also can register in-person at packet pickup from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Arlberg Sports, 25 N. Wenatchee Ave., and from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Centennial Park, located at Wenatchee Avenue and Yakima Street.

For additional info on the event:

River Run details

What, when, where: River Run half-marathon, 10K and 5K runs and walks, beginning at 10 a.m. this Saturday. The runs and walks start at Centennial Park (Wenatchee Avenue and Yakima Street), traverse the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail, and then finish at the Stanley Civic Center Plaza (Wenatchee Avenue and First Street).

What’s so special: This event in held in conjunction with the Taste of the Harvest Festival in downtown Wenatchee. The festival features a wine garden, beer garden, live music, arts-and-craft booths, food booths, and the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market.

What to expect: Mid-September typically provides ideal running conditions in the Wenatchee Valley — sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s and 60s in the morning. But smoke from the fires burning near Wenatchee has put a crimp into what is the norm. The 5K and 10K courses are flat and fast. The half-marathon course on the loop trail is gently rolling.

What you won’t forget: Finishers who are 21 years and older receive a $5 coupon off the $20 price for the wine garden (15 tastes and a souvenir wine glass). Overall winners get into the wine garden for free.

Last year’s winners: Half-Marathon — Marcell McArthur 1:16:04 (men), Carmen Johnson 1:36:01 (women); 10K — Chad McBride 37:21 (men), Martha Amrine 42:33 (women); 5K — Doug Wood 19:11 (men), Casi Tarr 20:08 (women).

Cost: $40 for the 5K, $50 for the 10K, and $65 for the half-marathon.

Registration: People can register online through midnight Thursday at They also can register in-person at packet pickup from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Arlberg Sports, 25 N. Wenatchee Ave., or from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Centennial Park.

More info and course map:




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