IRON MOUNTAIN - Planning for the second annual Iron Mountain Road & Trail Run is in full swing.
First National Bank & Trust of Iron Mountain, Kingsford, Menominee, Iron River and Marquette will host the Saturday, Sept. 14, event for a second year. The event came about in 2012 as a way for First National Bank & Trust to celebrate serving the community for the past 125 years.
"What started out as a simple idea quickly grew into a wonderful community event that would become an annual tradition," said race director Lisa Villringer. "The race was a great success in its first year with 270 registered participants between the half marathon and the two-mile run/walk."
Marshall Shorkey of Iron Mountain participated in the first Iron Mountain Road & Trail Run.
Last year participants came from all over the Midwest including Chicago, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Milwaukee and from as far as Arizona and North Carolina. Out of the registered participants, 37 percent were from out of the area making the race a great boost for the local economy.
"Restaurants, lodging and tourist spots should see a nice spike in business," Villringer said. "Participation is expected to grow for the 2013 race.
"The half marathon will offer the same route as last year, showcasing the visual diversity of the Iron Mountain area."
Event will start downtown on East A St. in the heart of the city center. Course will travel over the Chapin Mine Pit Bridge and weave through the city's North Side.
Runners will travel along Lake Antoine and into the Fumee Lake Natural Area for a serene stretch of trail on a 3.6 mile out-and-back. Trail will then round the rest of Lake Antoine and head back to the downtown area finishing again on East A St.
The morning will also feature the family-friendly two-mile Millie Hill Mini-Thon Run/Walk. The mini-thon starts out the same as the half marathon, over the Chapin Bridge, then turning onto Park Ave. Course travels up Millie Hill to East A St. and then down East A to the finish.
"The mini-thon is a fun race promoting health and fitness for all ages," Villringer said.
Proceeds totaling $7,000 from the 2012 race were donated to the Dickinson County Cancer Loan Closet. The Loan Closet is a non-profit organization that has that has been assisting residents of Dickinson County, Aurora, Florence, Niagara and Spread Eagle for over 10 years.
"They loan equipment to cancer and non-cancer clients at no cost," Villringer said. "They also have a financial aid program which helps with cancer prescriptions, Ensure and incontinence supplies.
"They offer limited funds for travel to out-of-town physician appointments. They operate solely through the generosity of our local community and through their staff of wonderful volunteers."
Proceeds from the 2013 race will again be donated to the Loan Closet.
"This year's race is sure to be just as scenic, just as exciting, and just as fun as last year," Villringer said. "There will be plenty to do at the finish area including visiting the Farmers Market, listening to music and indulging in some great local food.
"There will be entertainment along the course for runners including cheer and dance teams. Whether you are a participant or a spectator, there will be something to enjoy for everyone."
Race committee will be holding a special competition for downtown Iron Mountain businesses. There will be a trophy prize for the business with the most enthusiastic and creative "Road & Trail Half Marathon" inspired window display.
"Volunteers are needed to make this event a success," Villringer said. "Participants from last year's race raved about the enthusiasm of the volunteers.
"It takes a lot of help to make an event like this happen."
Those interested in helping should contact Lisa Villringer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (906) 774-2200.
To register for the 2013 Iron Mountain Road & Trail Half Marathon and two-mile run/walk or for more information, visit www.imrthalfmarathon.org or pick up a registration form at any branch of First National Bank & Trust.
"Because of the generous community we live in, we are able to have an event of this caliber that will only continue to grow," Villringer said. "The proceeds it generates are going to such worthy causes. It's absolutely wonderful."
Gold sponsors are First National Bank & Trust, Dickinson County Healthcare System, ERA Chevrolet, CJ Graphics, Champion Inc, CCI Systems, Hall Orthodontics, TDS Pharmacies, TV 6 News, Fleury Singler & Co, Family Chiropractic, Subway and MJ Electric.