This year the 39th Chester Classic Fourth of July Fun Run & Walk will be held Wednesday, July 4, with a start time of 8:30 a.m., sharp.
Runners are advised to show up early, however, especially if they are registering on the day of the race.
The fact that the Fun Run kicks off the Fourth of July Parade is a major factor in its popularity, said Shane Bergmann, race director of the Fun Run for the past seven years and a member of the ARPD Board Of Directors, the organization hosting the race.
Bergmann said the fundraiser is a great way for people to “start out their day and celebrate our freedoms.”
The route follows along a looped, mostly flat 3.25-mile course (2.25 miles paved) that starts on the Collins Pine lawn at 500 Main St. in downtown Chester.
Signs are clearly marked along the way, with a water station available just past the 2-mile mark. Participants proceed through the Collins-Almanor Forest, and finally back to the finish line on the Collins Pine lawn, where each contestant is individually timed.
Fruit, sports drinks and water are provided after the race.
As a major sponsor of the run, the California Highway Patrol will provide guidance along the route to make sure people remain safe during the event.
Other sponsors include The Collins Pine Co., Edward Jones Investments-Carla Parsons, Slusher Plumbing, Olah Construction, Flooring Brothers, Lassen Peak Photography, Lake Almanor Fitness Center and Holiday Market.
The fee for those who pre-register between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, at BodFish Bicycles, 149 Main St., is $30 cash or check. Registration is also $30 on the day of the race. Online registration ends July 2.
Those who register online (recommended) at chesterfunrun.org are guaranteed an official T-shirt; otherwise, those who wait too long to register on the day of the event could find the shirts sold out.
There’s a remarkable amount of interest and history behind the Fun Run & Walk, said Bergmann, having become a bona fide tradition for so many people who live in Chester and runners far beyond its borders.
Bergmann, who coordinates the event with his wife Dolores, said he’s thrilled that the event is a great way to encourage families to be physically active. Dolores Bergman takes care of the website and lists the Fun Run in race directories across the nation,
“People come to participate in the Fun Run from all over the United States,” he noted, which increases the number of visitors to the area, promoting the Lake Almanor Basin as an exciting destination.
Competitive runners come to the race specifically to win, Bergmann continued, and they want their runs to be timed accurately, “which is part of the service we provide to them.”
Under The Sun Events, a full service race management and timing company, provides the timing services for the racers.
Bergmann noted that participants could choose instead to walk the route or push baby strollers if they like, as long as they line up behind the racers.
Awards include overall male and female winners; age group awards, plus a costume contest as part of the festivities, Bergmann remarked. “People should feel free to dress in wild or patriotic costumes if they like.”
Almanor Recreation and Park District is unfunded and all the board members are volunteers.
Proceeds from the Fun Run & Walk support various local ARPD programs, Bergmann explained, including spring and fall soccer games at the Truman-Collins Sports Complex, which is also used for the high school softball team, youth basketball leagues and numerous other programs benefitting the children in the community.