The cool weather on the morning of Oct. 8 provided the perfect day for a run.
That morning, Winfield R-IV held its first annual Fun Run to raise the money for the Bright Futures program. Started in Joplin in the aftermath of the 2011 tornado, Bright Futures provides basic needs for students who need them. The movement has spread across the state of Missouri and made its way to Winfield more than two years ago.
Event coordinator Clint Presley said that discussion about having a run to benefit Bright Futures started last spring.
“We had never done anything like this in Winfield,” said Presley, “and it’s kind of something that we wanted to get the community involved and get the school district involved and give all the community the opportunity to do something like this locally instead of having to drive to O’Fallon, or St. Charles to compete in a event like this.”
The run started at the middle school track where runners made lap on the old track facility. From there the runners ran through every building with the school district, as well as part of a local subdivision and concluded at the new track behind the high school.
“It was kind of like running from the old to the new,” continued Presley. “We had the opportunity to outline a good course and I feel like the runners enjoyed it. It’s got a few hills here and there and kind of had a wide variety instead of running a few blocks in the city or a subdivision.”
An estimated 50 people participated in the run. Registration for the event was done By Big River running management company, and the race equipment was provided by Big River.
Many community businesses also contributed to the run. County Market in Winfield provided bottle water for runners and Chartwells food service at Winfield provided snacks for the runners after they completed the race. Dr. Hammerling with Synergy Chiropractic was also in attendance to provide soft tissue post-race services. Presley said that preparation was small, but critical in setting the pattern of the race.
“It was just a lot of prep work,” said Presley “We just had a lot of busy work, nothing to strenuous. It is just one of those things you get it started the first year and that’s usually the busiest year then we kind of have a blueprint for how to do it every year.”
Presley continued to say that the school district does intend to continue the event for future years.
“We defiantly have options moving forward,” said Presley, “if we keep it with the 5K fun run format, or we try to tie it into a fall festival. I think as it grows people will definitely have some more ideas to kind of keep it fresh.”
Presley continued to say that the district will continue to look into donating to other charities in the Winfield area.
“We call it the Winfield 5K. We absolutely appreciate any outside help,” said Presley,” but we like to keep as much of it tied to Winfield as possible to grow it as big as we can and to call it our own.
For participants, it was rewarding to be part of the first event.
“Bright Futures is a really great community getting together and providing for kids who are in need,” said participant Julie Heintzelman. “That’s the best part about it.”