Community invited to ‘Spring Up’ Bluff
     2016-04-18      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
The public is invited to get out their running shoes and Spring Up the Bluff, a relay event to help Scotts Bluff National Monument celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial.

Spring Up the Bluff is a relay with teams of one to six people each in both running and walking divisions. This year’s relay is April 16 and starts at 8 a.m. from the Monument Visitor Center and up the summit road to the top. The event is sponsored by the Monument, NEXT Young Professionals, and Monument Physical Therapy.

NEXT Young Professionals president Ryan Murphy said in 2015, the group was discussing community projects in which they could get involved.

“We realized the Spring Up the Bluff event had of fallen by the wayside,” Murphy said. “It had been a staple in the community for many years but it just stopped. So we reached out the Monument staff to find out what happened.”

The event, originally organized by local members of the National Guard, got lost in the shuffle when Guard units were reorganized.

Murphy said monument staff were more than willing to participate, so the relay was revived in 2015 after three years.

“We had about 50 people participate last year, although the weather was drizzly,” Murphy said. “We’re hoping for better weather for this year’s event. As of last week, about 25 have preregistered for the event.”

While the deadline has passed for preregistration, teams are encouraged to show up at the Monument the morning of the event to sign up. Murphy said preregistration is primarily so they know how many “swag bags” of gift items to put together for participants.

Age divisions for the walking and running relay teams are 20 and under, age 21 – 39, and 40 and over. Teams may be all male, all female, or mixed genders. None of the categories are too concrete, but are just used for placement at the relay’s start.

“People were happy to see it back last year,” Murphy said. “We have a lot of people in the community who are very active. I can see that from the number of local people who participate in the Monument Marathon in the fall.”

Registration for the Spring Up the Bluff relay is $10 per person, with proceeds going to the Scotts Bluff National Monument for their continued education programs and other needs.

“Most people know NEXT Young Professionals from our annual Beer and Wine Festival, but we do a lot more” Murphy said. “We do a lot of volunteering with other civic organizations when they need a helping hand for one of their projects. All our members are dedicated to giving back to the community however they can.”

People can still sign up for the relay the morning of April 16 starting at 7:30 a.m. The relay is scheduled to start at 8 a.m.

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