Warrior Run brings out record numbers
     2016-11-11      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Frank Marquez/Gering Citizen Warrior Run participants take off at the starting line. 
Last Saturday (Nov. 5) was a beautiful day with very little wind as a record breaking number of runners gathered at Legacy of the Plains Museum for the 8th annual Western States Bank Warrior Run.

“We had 271 participants, which was about 50 more than last year’s record number,” said Race Coordinator David Wolf. “The day was about 51 degrees, the sun was shining and it was absolutely gorgeous.”

Starting from Legacy of the Plains Museum, runners took to the course around the Scotts Bluff National Monument area in either 5K or 10K distances. Webb Orthodontics also sponsored the Little Warriors Fun Run for the kids.

The Cougar mascot from Western Nebraska Community College, along with the dance team, made an appearance during the run. The Minatare student leadership group and other local groups also showed up to help keep the event running smoothly.

Wolf said they don’t have solid numbers yet, but he estimated the event brought in about $22,500. Everyone who helps with the Warrior Run is a volunteer. After race expenses are paid, about 95 to 99 percent of the money raised goes to help veterans.

In addition to main sponsor Western States Bank, the run is organized by the Veterans and Military Family Emergency Relief Organization. The groups offers assistance to veterans in the Nebraska Panhandle and portions of eastern Wyoming.

The funds are used to help veterans in emergency situations or to provide basic needs – anything from food, to gas and car repairs, and help with rent and utilities.

“We can sometimes get an application approved in minutes,” Wolf said. “We work with utility companies, landlords and others to get veterans the help they need.”

Finishing in first place in the 5K event this year was Gering freshman and cross country runner Tukker Romey with a time of 20:31.11. Second through 10th place finishers were Caleb Koranda, Regan Hodsden, Ethan Koranda, Silas Macke, Doug Smith, Gavin Grant, Devon Ott, Nicole Patton and Kevin Grauberger.

In the 10K run, the winner was Nicholas Kizzire, who also won the Don Childs Memorial Five Mile Run during Oregon Trail Days 2016. He turned in a time of 34:26.92. Second through 10th place finishers were Jarred Berger, Marcus Dupree, Lisa Freeburg, Zach Smith, Allie Brisco, Kristen Blehm, Dustin Beaudette, Aaron Vogel and Jesslyn Strey.

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