AMES, Iowa – Two cross country races and a fun run/walk will provide family-friendly competition in a scenic location, with unique distance options and vertical challenges. The events are part of the first Get Vertical 4-H Adventure Race on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Iowa 4-H Camping Center near Madrid, Iowa.
“The Get Vertical 4-H Adventure Race is being presented through a generous donation from the Iowa Soybean Association,” said John Roosa, manager of the Iowa 4-H Center.
Mark Jackson, president of the Iowa Soybean Association, said, “The Iowa Soybean Association is excited about the opportunity to work with 4-H and connect with the nearly 107,000 Iowa youth that participate. The Get Vertical Adventure Race is a unique event to engage with 4-H members and other participants about the versatility of soy and health benefits of soyfoods, while raising money for the camp scholarship fund. For me, personally, 4-H was a defining force in my youth, which has carried forward into my adult career.”
The Iowa 4-H Center is located just 25 miles north of Des Moines in Boone County. “For several years, we have wanted to hold a running event here at the 4-H Camp to support our camp scholarship fund,” Roosa said. “We are grateful for the support received from the Iowa Soybean Association in making this event possible.”
Participants have options to challenge the whole family by selecting from a one-mile fun run/walk or 4K or 12K chip-timed cross-country courses. “We have 1,100 acres, with a wide variety of terrain ranging from prairies to woodlands to steep ravines, which enables us to offer unique running courses for all age ranges,” Roosa said.
The 12K race begins at 8:30 a.m. This advanced course includes four big hills, steep grades, three sets of staircases, a swinging bridge and running upstream in Richardson’s Creek, twice. To further challenge 12K runners to “get vertical,” Roosa said the camp’s 50-foot climbing tower will be open Friday afternoon during packet pick-up and again on race day. Medals will be awarded to runners who complete both the 12K race and the 50-foot climb. Entry fees are $40 per person in advance or $50 on race day.
The 4K race begins at 9 a.m. The course follows a trail past the camp pond, around a farm field, into the timber, across a 30-foot long swinging bridge, up one hill and through Hickory Village. Entry fees are $35 per person in advance or $45 on race day.
The final event of the day, the 1-mile family fun run/walk, begins at 9:30 a.m. The course is mostly level terrain and loops around the prairie grass and wetlands area. Entry fees are $10 per youth and $20 per adult. Participation ribbons will be awarded to all youth in the 1-mile event.
“This is truly a family-friendly event,” Roosa said. “We have overnight lodging options available throughout the weekend for families, clubs and organizations.” The Iowa 4-H Center not only will have the scenic property on display, the center also will showcase some of the summer camp program staff. Race coordinator Traci Haselhuhn said, “The caring adult summer staff will be supervising a fun Camp Care area for kids ages three and older with free activities, while adult family members run the 4K and 12K races.”
Post-race festivities include music, door prizes, a recognition ceremony and a pancake buffet provided by the Greek House Chefs. The brunch is free for race participants, volunteers and youth up through age five. Additional meal tickets for ages six and older may be purchased on race day for $5 each.
For more information, including online registration forms, race course maps, and the official Get Vertical 4-H Adventure Race brochure, visit www.iowa4hfoundation.org/adventurerace.