Annual Race Celebrates Lifetime Fitness in Quinter, KS

runner in field

THE FUN RUNNER Here’s a fellow out for a run He takes it easy and its great fun. He may go one, three, or ten miles – He’ll be back late but all in smiles. If challenged to a race, He can set a fast pace. His moves are gentle, rhythmic and free, Whether he’s 14, 15, or 83. -Waldo McBurney

The annual Waldo McBurney 5K, 10K, 1 mile (marathon mile) and 200 meter kid’s race will be held in Quinter, KS on June 8, 2013. The race is sponsored by Castle Rock Wellness Center and has grown into a popular event for all ages.

“Participants have ranged in age from 2 to 85 over the years,” said one of the race organizers, Shelly Gruenbacher.

The race is named after Waldo McBurney, a Quinter resident who took up long distance running at age 65 and made waves internationally competing as a runner into his 100s before finally passing away in 2009 at age 106.

“Mr. McBurney himself really embodied our mission of ‘life-long fitness in Gove County’,” said Gruenbacher. McBurney was known for being America’s oldest worker, walking to his  office most days of the week even in his 100s.

The same group, including Gruenbacher, who organized the first Waldo race 6 years ago also rallied support for the Castle Rock Wellness Center. Now, the race serves as a fundraiser for the health and wellness facility. Participation has grown to well over 250 each year, said Gruenbacher, with many walkers and runners without local ties making the annual trek to Quinter.

This year, the race includes a 200-meter fun run for kids, a 1-mile walk/run for kids and adults, a 5K and a 10K. The 5K and 10K will kick off the races at 8:00 a.m. in the city park, with the 1-mile following at 9:30 a.m. and concluding with the 200m run at 10 a.m.

runners at Waldo McBurney race

The Waldo McBurney race is fun for all ages of walkers and runners.

All kids younger than 12 will receive a medal for participating, plus many children will complete a marathon mile that will be awarded at the end of the race. Grade school children will finish the final mile of a marathon, completed in short increments over the course of the months preceding the race, explained Gruenbacher.

racers at the finish line

All kids under age 12 will receive a medal.

“The variety of distances makes it a perfect race for any fitness level. Some years we have even had long term care staff or the Hope House kids pushing nursing home patients in wheelchairs across the finish line!”

A pastoral park setting adjacent to a community playground makes for a perfect family event. The Gove County Medical Center Is sponsoring a community health fair at the park and nearby city building to correspond with the race.

“This race and the fitness center itself would not be a reality without help from sponsors, donors, and volunteers all coming together to work for something positive in our community,” said Gruenbacher.

More information, including registration documents, is available online here.

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