Run Iron Mountain: Event benefits participants, community
IRON MOUNTAIN — Running not only can do a body good, in some cases it can be beneficial for the community.
Run Iron Mountain will host its 11th annual event Saturday, with proceeds going to Dickinson County Cancer Loan Closet and Northwoods AirLifeline.
Over the past 10 years, the race organization has awarded a total of $149,500 to the Loan Closet.
“Up until now, they have been the sole recipient,” Run Iron Mountain Race Director Sara Pericolosi said. “This year, the board decided that there are so many great things happening in our community, and we want to have an opportunity to support them as well.”
Each year, the group has also presented a $1,000 scholarship to a local graduating senior.
“Run Iron Mountain focuses on giving back to the community, creating a great event for the whole family while promoting a healthy lifestyle,” Pericolosi said.
Run Iron Mountain has partnered with the Iron Mountain Downtown Farmers and Artisans Market, giving the participants and spectators a chance to spend time in the downtown.
The race will start and finish in front of the Dickinson County Library on Iron Mountain Street, with the first race to begin at 9 a.m.
In addition to the half-marathon race, they offer a three-person half-marathon relay. “This is great if you aren’t ready to run the entire thing but want to see one of our sweet finisher medals around your neck,” Pericolosi said.
Runners also have the options of the 10K, 5K or 2-Mile Fun Run/Walk. Cost for the half-marathon is $80; three-person half-marathon relay, $150 per person; 10K, $40; 5K and 2-mile event, $35.
“The race board recognizes that a marathon or 10K may not be for everyone,” she said. “The two-mile is a great place to start.”
Online registration is open until 5 p.m. Friday at runironmountain.com or in person until 7 p.m. Friday at Blackstone Pizza. No registration will be taken on Saturday.
Pericolosi said registration numbers have already exceeded last year’s.
“As of Monday morning, we have 290 registered — it’s really exciting to see the numbers growing,” she said, noting in addition to downstate and Wisconsin residents, they have participants coming from as far as Texas and Georgia.
A course highlight is the trek around Lake Antoine and through Fumee Lake. “With the seasons changing, runners will get to enjoy the beauty scenery at this time of year,” Pericolosi said.
The first-year race director would like to see more youth get involved in the event. “A huge part of why I became director is because this race means so much to our family,” she said. “My kids look forward to race week, almost like it’s Christmas.”
As another way to get youth interested, race organizers partnered with the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District Technical Education Center to have students create a new logo for Run Iron Mountain’s half-marathon. The board selected three of the eight designs for a public vote. The winning design was done by senior Paige Sabotta.
“We have so many talented local youth, it’s important to inspire them and encourage them,” Pericolosi said. “Getting youth involved is a really big part of what Run Iron Mountain does.”
The Kingsford High School Marching Band will again be on the course to cheer and support participants, along with the tennis and football team lending a hand.
They have also brought food sellers The Curious Pig, The Blue Dillo and Flavor Blast, in addition to the weekly farmers market vendors.
Volunteers are still needed, as it takes more than 100 people to make this race happen, Pericolosi said.
“We are proud of the feedback we get from our runners — saying we have the best volunteers,” she said, adding that volunteers are located on every turn of the course to direct and cheer.
Anyone interested can find volunteer opportunities and age requirements on their website at runironmountain.com. You can also follow Run Iron Mountain on Facebook or Instagram.
Percolosi reminds drivers to use extra caution when driving throughout town Saturday.
Run Iron Mountain was started by Dickinson County Running Club members who had been traveling to races across the U.P. and northern Wisconsin and wanted to do a local race.
In the early years, the First National Bank and its employees organized the race. “Over the years, it shifted to where it’s at today,” she said.
Anyone interested in joining the seven-member race board can reach out on Facebook or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, she said.
“We start planning for next year’s event two weeks after Saturday,” Percolosi said. “It’s a great group of people, with excitement, vision and forward thinking.”
Run Iron Mountain has been a huge success thanks to the generosity of its community businesses and individuals, she said. Platinum sponsors are Bellin Health, CCI Systems, The John Fornetti Dental Center, Kwik Trip and Mariucci Family Foundation; gold sponsors are Bacco Construction Co., BOSS Snowplow, First National Bank & Trust, Fleury Singler & Co. P.C., Hall Orthodontics, Ink Design and Apparel, M.J. Electric, Northern Interstate Bank, Radio Now, Ride North, Tourism Association of the Dickinson County Area, Trident Maritime Systems and U.P. Sport and Spoke; silver sponsors are Back in Motion Physical Therapy, Bay College West, Dickinson Trail Network, Krist Oil, Mande Insurance & Investment Solution, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Midwest Mini Storage & Movers, Pro Tech Lube Center & Car Wash, Superior Health Foundation, Systems Control, Tadych’s Marketplace Foods, TDS Pharmacy and Upper Michigan Energy Resources in partnership with We Energies Foundation; valued sponsors are Blackstone Pizza, Chris Hanley State Farm Insurance, Coca-Cola, Champion Inc., Danielson Insurance, Frito Lay, Kiwanis, Moose Jackson Cafe, Pepsi, Pine Mountain Resort, Super One Foods and Walmart.
Run Iron Mountain encourages the community to come out, cheer on the participants and spend time in downtown Iron Mountain.