NEENAH – After a false start last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Neenah Summer Fun Runs will return this year with four events.
Lee Hillstrom, one of the volunteer organizers, said more than 230 children have already signed up for the fun races.
âIf we have 500 the first night that would be fantastic,â Hillstrom said. “We’ve had up to 700 in recent years, but we don’t expect that this year. There will still be parents who are careful” because of the pandemic.
The fun races will include safety precautions to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Younger runners will start in waves 30 seconds apart. Cookies and ice cream treats offered to participants will be individually wrapped and distributed outside. In the past, food was normally distributed inside the George Scherck Refuge.
âWe won’t have the pizza and the bananas like we’ve had in recent years, which is good,â Hillstrom said. “They usually want ice cream and cookies anyway.”
Children aged 6 and under can run 400 meters (quarter mile) or 800 meters (half mile). Children aged 7 to 9 run 800 meters, and those aged 10 to 14 run 1,600 meters (mile).
Boys and girls compete in separate events within each age group.
Participants receive a ribbon after each race. Runners who participate in two races receive a t-shirt and those who participate in all four races receive a medal.
For the June 6 event, the organizers will hand out the remaining T-shirts from last year.
There is no registration fee as sponsors and volunteers cover the cost of the program.
In recent years, the series has included five dates.
âIt’s a lot of nights for people who volunteer in the summer when we don’t have such a long summer, so we took it down to four,â Hillstrom said. “We have several volunteers who have been there since the beginning (in 1996). They are over 80 years old.”
2021 Neenah Summer Fun Runs
- Who: Children 14 and under
- When: 7 p.m. June 6 and 20 and July 11 and 25
- Or: George Scherck Shelter at Memorial Park in Neenah (entrance from Apple Blossom Drive)
- Cost: Release
- Registration: Participants are encouraged to register in advance for www.neenahfunrun.com. They can also register on site before the start of the races.