The Chester Classic Fourth of July Fun Run & Walk is the kickoff event for the Independence Day holiday, where runners from both Plumas and out-of-county compete. This year a new route has been selected starting on Stover Mountain Road on the west side of Chester. Photo by Stacy Fisher

New route for Fun Run

Over the course of several years, the Chester Classic Fourth of July Fun Run & Walk has been the kickoff event for the Independence Day holiday, where both Plumas and out-of-county runners competed on a looped 3.25-mile (5K) route down Main Street, starting at Collins Pine Lawn, through the Collins Pine Forest and back to the finish line where they started.

The Mill Bridge, used during the footrace, caught fire last year, blocking a key pathway through Collins Pine Forest and eliminating future access to the route.

There was also a concern raised by ARPD’s Shane Bergmann and event organizers that portions of the previous trail weren’t wide enough or smooth enough to easily accommodate the increasingly large number of participants that used the pathway during the race.

Weighing all the pros and cons of various potential routes near town, Bergmann eventually confided in someone with close ties to the race and a part of its history, who suggested that Stover Mountain Road on the west side of Chester would be a good place to start this year’s race. It’s scenic, it’s safe, and has a lot of parking for participants arriving for the competition.

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The new route for the Chester Fun Run & Walk chosen for this year’s 40th annual Fun Run promises to be just as spectacular and challenging as the prior route, said Bergmann.

The new course is a certified out-and-back 5k, starting flat for the first half mile with a gradual incline of just 2 percent for the next half mile. Miles 1 through 1.5 plus is a climb with a 5 to 8 percent grade. The return is therefore all downhill.

There will be no traffic allowed during the competition for runners to worry about, plus one water station is available.

Awards are given to those that place in their groups based on age and gender.

Participants can pay the $30 race fee by pre-registering online at: www.chesterfunrun.org (along with further information about the Fun Run) or instead pay by cash or check July 3 at Bodfish Bicycles, 149 Main St., in Chester, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is also available the day of the footrace on-site at the new location starting at 7 a.m. The race commences at 8:30 a.m. sharp.

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To guarantee an official Classic Fourth of July Fun Run & Walk T-shirt, pre-register as soon as possible. Shirts are not guaranteed for those registering on race day.

As in the past, Under the Sun Events will provide accurate chip timing.

While there is parking at the race site, Bergmann asks that participants please consider carpooling if possible.

He added that he hoped everyone would love the new course along with a new start and finish line, where runners will receive snacks and hydration provided after the race by organizers.