ALPENA - The Wings Over Alpena air show has become one of the largest and most anticipated events in northern Michigan, but to host the event every other summer, there is a great deal of cost. In order to produce the best show possible, the Wings Over Alpena Committee depends heavily on sponsorship funds and fundraising events.
On Oct. 19 a new event will take place at the Alpena County Fairgrounds. The Redneck Rush promises to provide a giggle or two for the participants and spectators alike.
During the 5K run, participants go through mud and obstacles scattered throughout the course. Wings Over Alpena Committee member Pam Richardson said the the new event has never been done in Northeast Michigan and with the popularity of running marathons booming, she thinks the event will be popular to people of all ages.
"It is a family-friendly event," Richardson said. "It will be in October and there isn't a lot going on and it will be a great opportunity to have families come out and have a blast and a good excuse for kids and adults to come get really muddy."
Unlike other running or cross country events the spectators will be able to view the runners from start to finish. Richardson said spectators can impact who the winners are because they can throw water balloons at the runners while they are navigating the course.
"For other events you see the runners start and run into the woods, and then you don't see them again until they run out and cross the finish line," Richardson said. "For this you will be able to watch the runners the entire time and make things a little more challenging for them by throwing water balloons at your favorite runner."
The children's course covers a quarter mile with some obstacles as well. Both courses are being professionally designed by 3 Disciplines of Gaylord and the obstacles are being paid for and constructed by local sponsors. Richardson said even though the Wings Over Alpena show isn't until next summer, increases in costs have forced the committee to earn more funds.
"This is another way to raise funds because the cost of the jet fuel is so high," Richardson said. "We needed to find more ways to raise money and I expect this will help."
The race will be timed and run professionally and have a big-race feel to it. The cost to enter the race is $55 for adults and $30 for children. The price will increase in the days leading up to the race so Richardson encourages people who want to participate to sign up early.
Runners will receive a barbecue-style dinner after the event, as well as T-shirts. There also are many other prizes and awards that will be given away. Richardson said she hopes runners will dress for the occasion.
"It would be great to see a lot of plaid and camouflage," Richardson said. "People can get creative and compete in costumes if they choose. You're not going to want to miss this event, so sign up now."
The Bay Athletic Club will be offering pre-race, train to compete class beginning Sept. 11 through Oct. 16. People interested can call the club at 356-5600,
For more information and to register for the race log into www.3disciplines.com/events/redneck-rush-5k-obstacle-mud-run.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com