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29th Scenic Sinkhole Scramble is less than two months away

In a little less than two months, the 29th running of the Scenic Sinkhole Scramble will take place. The event will be held Aug. 13 with pre-registration beginning at 8 a.m. and the race beginning at 9 a.m. The race will start and end in front of the 4-H building on the Koochiching County Fairgrounds, half mile north of Northome on Highway 71. The course will follow the same route that it has for the past 28 years.

Runners/walkers will travel from the Fairgrounds out to Highway 71, turn to the right and follow the highway until they get to Koochiching County road 15 and then turn right onto that road. They will follow Koochiching County Road 15 until they reach the turn around marks and then return to the Fairgrounds following the same course.

The event will have a 2 mile and a 5K (3.1 mile) race. The races are open to runners, walkers and those pushed in a stroller. We will not be able to accommodate in-line skaters and bikers. The facilities are limited, so runners and walkers should come ready to go. Following the races, approximately 10:30, there will be an awards ceremony and drawings for door prizes. The course has been certified by USTAF MN for the distances of 2 miles, 5K and 10K.

The registration price has remained the same for the past number of years and this year is no exception. The registration fee is $11 per person if it is received by Aug. 8. After Aug. 8, the registration fee will increase to $12 per person.

If you choose not to pre-register, you may register at the Fairgrounds the morning of the races between 8-8:45 a.m. If you are registering in advance, we request that you try and do so by Aug. 8, as after that things begin to get hectic.

If you pre-register in a group of 10 or more and all registration materials, including payment for all registrants, is received in one envelope by Aug. 8, the price will be $10 for each registrant.

Please send the registration material in, as over the phone, things sometimes get messed up.

There is also an age category (Stroller Scramblers) for both races. Stroller Scramblers are children (must register and have a number for this category) under the age of 5 who are pushed in a stroller for the entire distance. These children must be registered if they want to be eligible for awards and door prizes. If they are under the age of 5 and choose not to be pushed and want to run/walk, that is fine, but the child will not qualify for the Stroller Scrambler class. We reserve the right to change age classes for the 14 and under groups, depending on the participation levels. This will be decided after all participants are registered.

Even though there are not a lot of extras with this event, for the entry fee, you do receive a T-shirt and a chance at the door prizes (you must be present for the door prizes). It is highly recommended that you pre-register for this event to insure that you receive a T-shirt on the day of the races.

In the past, we have run short of shirts (especially certain sizes) and have tried to order accordingly, but it is hard to anticipate the number of entrants we will have. If you do pre-register and we do run short of shirts, we will reorder and get them to you as soon as possible. With the cost of postage, this is something that we may not be able to do much into the future, so please take that into consideration when thinking about pre-registering or not.

As with any physical event, be sure that you can compete at the level that you want to. If you need to, see a physician to see if you are physically able to participate at the level that you want to. You need to prepare for the event as much ahead of time as possible. It is hard to just jump into an event and not be prepared for it and not have some soreness or other consequences following it.

Listen to your body -- it will tell if you are doing too much too soon. Listen to the warnings that your body gives you. It is better to be safe than sorry. Be sure that you are dressed properly for the weather conditions and your feet are properly protected.

Break in the shoes you are going to wear prior to the day of the races. Remember -- your feet are your main means of getting around, if you mistreat them, they will make you pay for it by making you uncomfortable. Blisters, sprains and strains may restrict what you can do for days, weeks, or maybe months.

Race forms will be available at the beginning of July at various businesses throughout the area. Our sponsors again this year are the Koochiching County Fair Board, Northome VFW, Northome American Legion, Deerwood Bank and Nei Bottling of Bemidji.

Again, the earlier you pre-register, the greater you chance of having your T-shirt on the day of the races. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 897-5065 and leave a message.