As part of the Over the Rainbow Runs on Oct. 22, runners will soon crowd the bluffs overlooking Kanab, Utah, as they strive to complete either a 10k or 20k. Students interested in an outdoor activity for a good cause might consider registering for the non-profit endeavor, with all proceeds going to Friends of Kane County Children’s Justice Center, an organization focused on providing services for vulnerable youth. Registration is $65 for the 20K and $50 for the 10K.
The races will start and finish at Jacob Hamblin Park at 9 a.m. and lead runners through a course with a variety of terrains and views. Race director Katie Wallace arranged the Over the Rainbow Runs for the second time this year with the help of seven generous sponsors and her assistant race director, Neak Loucks.
“When I first moved to Kanab a few years ago, I found this particular system of trails, located just blocks from my house,” Wallace said. “I was blown away by how stunning it is, what a fun adventure it is and how few people go there. I immediately wanted to share it with everyone I know.”
Fees collected for the race will support KCCJC, a group that Wallace has developed a strong connection with. She said she had never realized that when a child is abused, they’re not only dealing with trauma from those experiences. They often suffer through extensive medical procedures, law enforcement interviews and ongoing counseling, which can create even more emotional damage for the child.
“Children’s Justice Centers in Utah really try to streamline those processes and do them in a more holistic way, in a ‘home-like’ environment, so that the process hopefully sets them on the right path toward healing,” she said.
By registering, racers are not only contributing to KCCJC’s cause, but also get the opportunity to use aid stations with food and drinks every couple miles, choose between a trucker cap or a pint glass, and eat post-race burritos.
Wallace is on a mission to make the races themselves as inclusive as possible. “We’ve included divisions for men, women, and genderqueer/nonbinary runners. And, our cut-offs for both races are generous to allow people of a wide variety of physical abilities to join the fun,” she said. “We also can offer discounts to those who wouldn’t be able to afford it.”
Instead of a typical competitive racing environment, she wants to foster a “Saturday morning with friends” atmosphere in the upcoming races.
Story by: Kale Nelson
Photo courtesy of Jack Lemon on Unsplash