By Jacob Mathias
Rapids citizens can spend an evening running with the cops on October 8.
The Wisconsin Rapids Police Department and area law enforcement, in conjunction with Special Olympics Wisconsin, is hosting its first annual Run with the Cops 5K fundraiser on October 8 at 5:00 PM. The run starts and parking is available at the Centralia Center at 220 3rd Ave. The 5K starts near the intersection of 1st Ave S. and Goggins St., continuing to the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial and returning along the same path. The running route was approved by the Wisconsin Rapids Common Council at their regular meeting on Tuesday night.
“We are very involved with Special Olympics. It’s one of the greatest things that law enforcement can do to help Special Olympic athletes, families and coaches,” said Chief of Police Kurt Heuer. “This is a new event for us so we’re pretty excited.”
Heuer said he hopes to run along with the others but he will certainly be there to help orchestrate the run.
“We’re all super excited,” said Alyssa Matelski, Special Olympics Wisconsin Region 2 director of development. “It’s definitely a really good event not only for Special Olympics because we benefit and we have such an awesome partnership with law enforcement, but also for law enforcement to be in part of the community and put on a community event…it’s an awesome, positive community event with law enforcement.”
All of the proceeds from Run with the Cops will be donated to help local athletes train and compete in the Special Olympic Games.
Along with the full 5K race, a 1K Kid’s Dash will also be run. The Kid’s Dash begins at 6:30 PM and the 5K at 6:45 PM.
Along the route, glow stations will illuminate the course with flashing lights from emergency vehicles, glow sticks and and light up goodies.
“This is just such a cool concept to run at night and do a 5K at night,” said Matelski. “I think that a lot of people will like that it’s not just the same 5K that you do at 8’0’clock in the morning.”
Registration is open until the day of the race. Matelski said they have 10 runners so far and are hoping for about 100. The statewide fundraising goal is $60,000.
Participants can pay the $25 registration fee or raise donations to cover the fee and support Special Olympics Wisconsin. The children’s 1K fee is $15. Those who raise money beyond the $25 entry fee are eligible for prizes including:
Raise $100 – Run with the Cops Beanie Stocking Cap
Raise $250 – Run with the Cops Hoodie
Raise $500 – $25 Buffalo Wild Wings Gift Card and Hoodie
All registrants will receive a t-shirt and glow accessories.
Prizes will be awarded to the top two finishers male & female in the following age divisions:
• 13 and under
• 60 and over
Awards will also begin to the top overall male and female finisher.
Special Olympics athletes will be presenting the awards to the top finishers.
“Usually we have people handing our athletes medals and this time they get to hand the medals out. They’re really excited about that,” said Matelski.
Run with the Cops began it’s Wisconsin runs in the Eau Claire area two years ago and has since spread to seven locations including Wisconsin Rapids, Rice Lake, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville and Racine.
For full details and to register, click here.