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Running with purpose

Beamer Run more than just a race for so many


by: JEFF WILSON/THE PIONEER - A group of youngsters gets the Two Mile Fun Run off to a roaring start Friday morning during the Todd Beamer Memorial Run at Sahalee Park. The annual run drew a crowd of close to 200 participants in the three events this year.There are many people who run.

For many, it's about competition or health. But Friday, there was a totally different reason for so many to awake early on a holiday Friday and lace up the running shoes.

Close to 200 participants hit the back roads and main streets of downtown Madras on July 4 to take part in the Todd Beamer Memorial Run. And for most, the event that was named for a native son that lost his life in 1997, is more than just a run.

“This is, honestly, my favorite race of the whole year,” Jamie Hurd said. “There’s something about (Bud Beamer's) speech up there, just talking about loved ones and caring; I feel like I am running this race for a purpose other than just time.”

by: JEFF WILSON/THE PIONEER - Bud Beamer, center, speaks to the 10K runners Friday morning before the Todd Beamer Memorial Run. Beamer has used the annual run as a way to keep the memory of his son Todd, who drowned 18 years ago, alive. It is also a way to bring the community together, raise money for scholarships and promote a sport that is his son loved.

“I thought it was an exceptional day,” Beamer said. “People sense that it is more than a race. They gather here and help support the family, not only Todd, but people they have in their hearts right now.”

Each year, Beamer gathers with those that run the 10K on a scenic spot outside of town and delivers a message about life, love and remembrance.

“It’s sentimental. I’m new to the community, but I just feel love when I’m up there,” Hurd said. “I love it.”

Hurd,who ended up winning the overall female title with a time of 40 minutes, 41 seconds, takes a different approach to the Beamer run. There is no thought of times or places; this one is about enjoying the moment and having fun.

“When I’m running down, the whole way, I’m looking at Mount Jefferson and feeling lucky,” she said. “Just sitting up there, I’m feeling thankful. It’s just kind of a reminder to me, every year, to appreciate what I’ve got. And that I am running.”

While Hurd took the female title, William Ward was the first person to cross the finish, covering the course in 38:17. And Beamer was there to greet him, as he is with everyone that competes and finishes.

by: JEFF WILSON/THE PIONEER - Bella Dubisar (246) runs in the Two-Mile Fun Run Friday with her mother Lisa and brother Eliot while Jestina Sullivan (141) and her father Shaun are along for the jog.While there were some serious runners producing some serious times, much of the event is geared toward families. And many turned out to take part in either the two-mile fun run or the six-mile walk.

Friday’s run was Kyle Huttinga’s first attempt at a 10K course.

The 14-year-old from Culver has a pair of 5Ks under his belt, and now he can add the Beamer Run to his list of accomplishments.

“Well, it was long,” Huttinga said. “But it was fun to do. I’m happy to finish it, and not be dragging behind too bad. I was tired, but I did feel pretty good about where I finished.”

Huttinga ended up with the second-best time in his division, the 19-year-old and under, crossing the finish line in 58:36. Isaac Fisher had the best time in the division with a 44:50.

Although Huttinga is relatively new to running — former neighbor Hurd spurred him to start— he’s still unsure if it is something he will pursue as a sport or keep it just a hobby. Running cross country or distance running in high school is an option he said he will look into.

But for now, he said he will run races around the area, especially the MAC Race series. The Beamer Run was the second leg of the four-race series and Huttinga has completed them both.

“I like the MAC Race series, and I can choose between the 5 and the 10K as well,” Huttinga said. “I don’t plan on being super picky; I enjoy all the races.”

Beamer said he loves to see the youngsters out for the race and hopes they stay with it.

“I hope it encourages young kids to participate and move forward as they go through school,” Beamer said. “It’s for families; it’s a gathering and we had a lot of little kids.”

And there was one in particular that ended up stealing the day. Eight-year-old Paris Rubio, of Warm Springs, not only participated in the 10K, he ran it alone and clocked a time of 1:07.20, third best the male under 19 division.

“Seeing him do it, it should let them know that we can all do it,” Beamer said. “It was great. It was great to see the parents cheering on their kids and other people’s kids.”

In the end, the event is about Todd and the life he led. .It is also about an area that turns out each year to support one of their own.

“I can’t say enough about this community and how it responds to stuff like this,” Beamer said. “It means a lot to me. They drove all the down just to acknowledge (the event) and give me a hug. It means a lot, it really does.”

by: JEFF WILSON/THE PIONEER - A long string of runners dot the climb up the hill on Grizzly Drive during Friday's Beamer Memorial 10 K Run..



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