River Run at 17: Annual fundraiser held October 14

By Chelsea Graham, River Run Race Coordinator and Mariah Singer-Brown, Jensen Center Associate Director

The sun came out for a beautiful fall morning at the 2023 River Run, held October 14 at Central Waters Brewing Company. Early that morning, more than 70 amazing volunteers were at their stations, ready to make this another successful event. Registration volunteers began checking in the more than 780 participants at 7:45 a.m., making sure they received their bibs and timing chips, t-shirts, River Run beer, and the chance to purchase a coveted bottle of Black Gold. Parking volunteers directed traffic to the parking areas, keeping Allen Street safe for foot traffic along the road. Runners and walkers began lining up at about 9:45 a.m. near the starting gate set up by Jake Barnes, Ben Schultz, Paul Graham, and their amazing team of race course volunteers.

After pre-race instructions, the national anthem was performed by Amherst High School Senior Annie Johnson, and the five-mile course runners set off on a tour of our community at 10 a.m. Following shortly behind, the two-mile course participants took a shorter tour of our village. Out on the course, runners breezed by Portage County Sheriff’s Deputies and members of the Amherst Fire District helping to ensure safety and saw students from the Amherst Cross Country Team directing them on the course. Once the runners and walkers got back to the brewery, they were greeted at a recovery table by a group of teenage volunteers with water and bananas provided by Amherst Family Foods. While waiting for race results, participants also had the chance to purchase treats from the Amherst High School Spanish Club and the Stevens Point Area Senior High Hockey Team. Live music was provided by DJ AJ Zanella. Again this year, the race prizes were one-of-a-kind beautiful mugs individually made  by potter Kris Crubaugh.

The fundraiser serves as a primary source of funding for the Jensen Community Center, and we would like to once again thank Emerson Automation Solutions-American Governor Hydropower Solutions and Legacy Steel for allowing us to use their parking lots for emergency vehicles and for providing electricity for announcements as well as letting us use their respective grounds for additional parking. A special thank you to Amherst Bible Church, Sharpe Engineering, Blenker Construction, NorthWind Solar, and the Village of Amherst and Travis Stuczynski for providing parking areas for volunteers and attendees. Another extra thank you to Central Waters Brewing Company for covering added costs this year. And, finally, thank you to this year’s River Run sponsors: NorthWind Solar, Central Waters Brewing Company, Stuczynski Soils and Design, Legacy Steel, Re/Max Lyons Real Estate, Sullivan Investment Management, Shambeau & Thern Real Estate, Farmers State Bank, and Amherst Family Foods.

We would be remiss if we didn’t offer an extra-special thank you to Amherst residents and business owners who may have seen more traffic and people for a few hours that day. This event is definitely a chance for us to show off all that Amherst has to offer!

Each year, this event just keeps getting better. A town like ours relies on the Jensen Center for so many programs, entertainment, and strength-building community events. So from all of us who worked on the Run, thank you for the support of this important event for our area. See you next year!

(For race results, please visit: results.performancetiming.com/results.aspx?CId=16541&RId=737.)

The five-mile course participants launched out of the starting gate to begin this year’s River Run.


For added safety, this year’s Fun Run for children ages five to ten was moved to a course in a cordoned-off portion of Central Waters’ parking lot.

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