Root Beer Fun Run, Gauntlet on tap for the weekend

The second annual Root Beer Fun Run hosted by the Hospice of the Central Peninsula is back for another year, and organizers hope to see another large turnout.

The event is a fundraiser for the Soldotna hospice, created last year as a second option to bring in funding outside of what it receives from government funding.

Scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Soldotna Creek Park, the run is sponsored by the Kenai River Brewing Company, which provides the root beer for adults and children alike. The morning will feature two distances to try, the first a short 0.5 kilometers for kids up to age 12, and the longer run 1.6 kilometers — or one mile — for adults and kids.

Rhonda McCormick, a member of the nonprofit board of directors who is heading up the fundraising committee with Tony Oliver, said the event was brought to life last summer thanks to hospice bereavement coordinator Lee Coray-Ludden. McCormick said the committee had to bring it back after last year’s run proved to be a hit.

“Last year we were expecting maybe 15 or 20 people to show up,” McCormick said. “And we got a lot more than that.”

According to hospice executive director Janice Nightingale, a field of nearly 100 showed up last year for a bit of fun and, of course, a mug of root beer.

Nightingale said the fundraising committee was looking for a second event to complement the one fundraiser the hospice hosts each year, its annual wine tasting and auction event in February.

“We were trying to find another fundraiser to do other than that one,” Nightingale said. “(Coray-Ludden) started thinking about what other things are popular around here, and we know community runs are. It was something we decided to do for the families and kids.”

Race finishers receive a race mug and token for root beer.

In other race events, the Gauntlet cycling race is back this weekend at the Tsalteshi Trails. The Gauntlet begins Saturday, with registration beginning at 10 a.m. and race time at 11 a.m., and is the season-ending race for the Tsalteshi mountain biking season, with autumn’s cyclocross circuit yet to come.

The event is timed at three hours long, and the object is to reach all seven checkpoints on a single lap as many times as possible within the three-hour limit.

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