Local run benefits library
Chris Miller never cared what place he finished in the Friends of the Library Fun Run held each year in Tonganoxie.
"I'm usually the last one in," Miller, 57, said. "For me, running has never been about speed. It's about finishing and proving my health. It's about living better longer."
Miller, a Lawrence resident for 53 years, has run in the Tonganoxie Days event for 10 years. He will run in the 10 K, which will start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. A 5K run and 5K walk will also take place at the same time.
The fundraiser will benefit the Tonganoxie Public Library. Saturday will represent the 20th anniversary of the run.
"Libraries are under-funded and under-recognized," Miller said. "When I was a kid, we literally spent hours every day in the library. It's something that ought to be supported."
The run attracted 130 runners last year, according to Friends of the Library president Debbie Zerrer. The group of 130 runners was the largest turnout in Zerrer's four years of organizing the event. The Friends of the Library raised $1,550 last year. Most of the money will go toward new books and CDs for the library.
"Their biggest fundraiser is to help the library," Zerrer said. "We'd like to have even more runners this year. I like to run and just wanted to help them organize it."
The Top 3 finishers in each of the three events will receive trophies. The event will also break the runners down by age group: 10 and under, 11-19, 20-29, 30-39, etc. The first-place finishers of each age group will receive medals.
The event will begin and end at the library. The course will initially take runners and walkers south on 5th Street. They will continue east on Pleasant Street then head south on Washington Street They'll take the same path on the way back after the turnaround point.
Zerrer said the majority of entrants had been from Tonganoxie, Leavenworth or Kansas City (Kan).
Miller will complete his fourth run of the year on Saturday. He typically runs in one event per month from February to October.
"Tongie is a nice, small town," Miller said. "It reminds me of what Lawrence used to be when I was a kid. Everyone down there knows you and it has that small-town feel, which is nice. Let's just hope for good weather."
Registration for the fun run is available up until the day of the race. You can register at the Tonganoxie Public Library, 305 S Bury St., or Unlimited Fitness, 1198 Front St.