Archive for Friday, April 15, 2005

Raintree Run shaping up to be doozy of a race

April 15, 2005


If you're interested in earning up to $400, running for a good cause or decorating a Port-a-John, then Sunday's Raintree Run is where you want to be.

Steve Riley, who runs the event with his wife, Marcia, said he expected at least three runners who potentially could break the state half-marathon record.

Wayne Strohman set the record in 1997 at the Wichita Half-Marathon in a time of 1:07:39, but defending champion Shadrack Kimeli and his brother, Silverus, could duck under that pace for the 13.1-mile course.

Both Shadrack and Silverus -- natives of Kenya -- earned All-America status while they competed at Kansas State and Arkansas.

Riley believes either runner could push the other to a record-breaking time and earn the $100 bonus for doing so.

Even with the experienced duo, the $300 prize for the half-marathon winner for men and women should attract plenty of top competition.

"The prize money is half of what they're racing for," Riley said. "They're here to make money on road races."

Part of the entry fee proceeds will go to the Sarah Elbayoumy Scholarship Fund that honors a Raintree Montessori School student who died in a car accident in 2003.

Jack's Mile, following the half-marathon, will help fund the Jack Stineman Memorial Scholarship Fund, another Raintree student who died in an auto accident.

What: Fund-raiser for Raintree Montessori SchoolEvents: half marathon (13.1 miles), 5K (3.1 miles), one-mile run run/walk.When: Sunday -- 5K: 8 a.m.; half marathon: 8:05 a.m.; "Jack's Mile": 10:30 a.m.Where: Raintree Montessori School, 4601 Clinton Parkway.

All other proceeds will go to Raintree Montessori School.

In recent years, race organizers offered the opportunity to decorate the 20 or so Port-a-John's on site in exchange for a $50 dollar donation. Riley said that many people picked up on the offer in years past, including former Lawrence mayor Mike Rundle.

"It's a good way to spend $50," Riley said.

Entering its 10th year, the Raintree Run has grown into a major road race in Kansas. What started in 1995 as a small, 200-person 5-kilometer race has blossomed into a race that expects to attract nearly 1,500 runners.

Riley decided to add the half-marathon to it because of the popularity of the distance among elite and recreational runners in the area.

"The half-marathon seems to appeal to a lot of people," Riley said. "The recreational runners like it because they're not ready for a marathon or they're trying get ready for a marathon."

The half-marathon course starts at the school near the intersection of Clinton Parkway and Inverness Drive, extends to near Clinton Lake before switching back to Iowa Street, and then back to the school again.

The bike trail on the South Lawrence Trafficway will be closed from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on race day. Registration is scheduled for 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the school, but runners can sign up right until 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

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