Hope’s Wagon Run | Glacier City Gazette
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Hope’s Wagon Run

SK Malone / Glacier City Gazette Runners begin the Wagon Run in Hope.

Hope’s Wagon Run

SK Malone / Glacier City Gazette Runners begin the Wagon Run in Hope.

SK Malone / Glacier City Gazette
Runners begin the Wagon Run in Hope.

SK Malone
Staff Writer

Every year during one weekend in July, there is much ado in Hope. People come from all over come to take part in Hope’s Annual Wagon Road Run. This year marked the 29th year of this event, which was held on July 16 and 17. Wagon Run weekend starts out on Saturday with a delicious pancake breakfast. Wonderful volunteers organize, run and cook the breakfast, which consisted of pancakes in regular, chocolate chip and berry; reindeer sausage; and cantaloupe, as well as coffee, tea and orange juice. From 8-11 a.m., people sat around tables and conversed, while enjoying a great meal and sense of community.

Later in the afternoon at 3 p.m., there was a Cakewalk, which was also manned and planned by fabulous volunteers. There were many decadent treats that were donated for the winners to choose from. Participants were both locals and vistors. Some knew about the walk and others wondered in off the street. Both the pancake breakfast and the cakewalk had a great turnout.

On Sunday was the race, barbecue and raffle. Another big event held during Wagon Run is the annual raffle, which is held after the run. Over one hundred prizes were donated from people and businesses in our community, including a beautiful stained glass paneled quilt made and donated by Fayrene Sherritt, Linda Graham, and Tonya Cunningham. A few weeks ahead of the weekend of the run, raffle tickets are available at local businesses and from volunteers during the event for a donation of $2. This year all 5,000 raffle tickets were sold.

The race started at 11 a.m., and runners had an hour and a half to complete the run. The course is a 3.5-mile cross-country round trip run. Racers start in downtown Hope, run up the Wagon road. There they head back along a trail, which leads to Clark Road, then returns to downtown. Hope EMS was at the finish line with the ambulance in case of any emergencies.

It was a fantastic day for racing, as the sun was shining without a cloud in the sky. With the racers running the course, spectators milled about near the social hall and ate barbecue that gracious volunteers grilled and dished up. The roadway from the Social Hall downtown to Tito’s Discovery Cafe was lined with people enjoying the race and weather. The American Auto Association had their beautiful classic cars parked at the Retreat Center and were sitting next to them cheering and clapping for the racers. Trail conditions were said to be generally good.

Diane Olthuis said ”There was a little mud down low, but not as much as other years, and it was amazingly sunny.”

Another runner Brodie Schell replied “The trail was a little muddy, but the weather was nice. I can’t wait for next year so I can run again.”

The overall race results for men were:
1st- Sam Tilly 17:30.8
2nd Tor Christopherson 20:24.8
3rd Szweda Mittelstadt 20:34.3

The overall race results for the women were:
1st Denali Strabel 20:35.80
2nd Aubrey Smith 21:37.6
3rd Jessica Pahkala 23:05.8

All of the racers did a fantastic job and people of all ages ran, from babies in backpack carriers to eighty and ninety year olds. This year’s wagon run was staffed, manned and planned by fabulous volunteers, and this year 35-45 volunteers helped out.

The proceeds from the breakfast, cake walk, run, raffle and barbecue all go to Non-profit organizations in the Hope community: Hope Fire and EMS, Hope Chamber of Commerce, Hope, Inc., Hope School Parent, Teacher, Student, Community Association, Hope Library and Hope/Sunrise Historical Museum.

A special thanks to Hope EMS, everyone who volunteered and ran in the race, for helping to create a fun and safe event.