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Willow River Run moving to the Thursday of New Richmond Fun Fest for 2017

Runners are shown leaving the starting line at the 2016 Willow River Run. This year's race will be run on Thursday evening, breaking from the tradition of the Saturday morning run.

The Willow River Run has been a New Richmond Fun Fest staple since the late 1970s. The 2017 WRR will bring changes that race director Stephanie Hoff hopes will be fun and positive.

One of the biggest changes Hoff wants to make sure participants notice is the switch to a Thursday night race, instead of Saturday morning. The 5k run/walk will kick off Fun Fest at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 13, beginning in New Richmond’s Mary Park.

Registration is open on the New Richmond Community Education website, by contacting New Richmond Community Ed for a paper registration form, or participants can register the day of the race, beginning at 6 p.m., at Mary Park.

Registration is $25 before July 1 or $30 after July 1. All participants who register before July 1, are guaranteed a cotton t-shirt. A limited number of shirts will be available after July 1 and for race day registrations. Every participant will also receive one free drink ticket, which can be redeemed at Fun Fest after the race on Thursday.

In her first year as race director, Hoff said strong community support is what continues to make the Willow River 5k Run/ Walk an annual success.

“Our goal is to provide a fun community event for all ages and fitness levels,” said Hoff, who took the lead organizing the Willow River Run after former race director Jodi Saliny said 2016’s event was her last. “Local community businesses and organizations have stepped forward with monetary donations, product donations, and some great door prizes, which we’ll draw for during the awards ceremony. We can’t thank our sponsors enough.”

Hoff said proceeds from the Willow River 5k Run/ Walk will support trail map kiosks along New Richmond’s pathways and a scholarship for a New Richmond High School senior. Nora Stolley was the 2017 Willow River Run scholarship recipient.

“We are so excited to kick-off Fun Fest this year. It’s going to be a fun event for everyone,” Hoff said. “Our runners and walkers will have a great course that utilizes New Richmond’s pathways and they’ll be able to cool their feet in a kiddie pool near the finish line. We welcome families and spectators to help cheer on participants, while also dancing to DJ Dave DeVille who will be on-site providing music pre- and post-race. We’ve also connected with Bee’s Ice Cream Truck to have the truck at Mary Park serving up the cool summer treats that have made the truck one of the Top-10 in Wisconsin, weekend.”

“Once we’ve wrapped up the 2017 Willow River 5k Run/Walk, we encourage our group to migrate to the Fun Fest grounds,” Hoff continued. “I can’t think of a better way to begin a fun summer The Willow River Run has been a New Richmond Fun Fest staple since the late 1970s. The 2017 WRR will bring changes race director Stephanie Hoff hopes will be fun and positive.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
(715) 243-7767 x242
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