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Runners take to the streets of Gering in Don Childs Memorial Race
July 09, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

File Photo by Kay Grote - Sara Ensrud-Vaughn and Cole Wellnitz lead the pack on the way back to town from the monument during last year’s Don Childs run.

Runners of all ages are invited to lace up their shoes and join the Don Childs Memorial Five-Mile Run this Saturday, July 11.
Registration starts at 6 a.m. in front of the Gering Citizen offices in downtown Gering. The race begins at 7 p.m., going south through Gering, out to Scotts Bluff National Monument and back.

There are six categories that runners can compete in: 16 and under, 17-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60+. Medals will be awarded to the top place finishers in men’s and women’s divisions.

Entry fee is $10, which includes a T-shirt. You can download a registration form by visiting the Oregon Trail Days website at oregontraildays.com or register the morning of the race until 15 minutes before race time.

“Most everyone I’ve talked with have good things to say about the race,” said organizer Randy Plummer. “I think they really like that the course back from the monument is downhill.”

He added that with many people back in Gering for class reunions, the runners like to take part in the event.

Around 130 to 150 people register the event each year, but Plummer said it all depends on when other races are scheduled.
“We used to start the race at 8 a.m. but moved it up an hour when it isn’t so hot,” Plummer said. “And we have water on the course for the runners.”

He added the event wouldn’t be possible without lots of volunteer help from the community.
The Don Childs Memorial Run was first organized in the late 1970s in memory of Don Childs Jr., a band director at Gering High School who was killed in a plane crash in the late 1970s.

The event made history last year when for the first time, the overall winner came from the women’s division
Sara Ensrud-Vaughn, a 2004 Gering graduate, first won the women’s division of the run that year.

Back for her 10th class reunion in 2014, she finished the course with a time of 30 minutes, 44 seconds, almost a full minute ahead of the men’s division winner, Cole Wellnitz, who posted a time of 31:40.
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