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The Todd Beamer Memorial Run will be held July 4; social interaction will be discouraged.

JEFF WILSON/THE PIONEER - Bud Beamer, center, speaks to the 10K runners morning before the 2014 Todd Beamer Memorial Run. This year, the run will take place with social distancing.The Todd Beamer Memorial Run will be held this Fourth of July.

With COVID-19 precautions at the forefront, organizers are preparing for the popular annual run to continue in 2020, with some major changes.

"Unlike previous years, when this event was a social gathering, this year's event will be for the runners and walkers and close social interaction discouraged," said Bud Beamer, organizer of the run.

For starters, the event will start and finish at Juniper Hills Park instead of Sahalee Park serving as the headquarters.

Also, all participants must wear a mask for the first quarter mile of the various races. After the run, while at the park for the post-run ceremonies, masks will also be required.

All those who register for the race will be given commenorative masks.

To further promote social distancing and safety, only those participating in the run are invited to the park. After the event and awards, participants are encouraged to leave the park to reduce exposure.

The event will include a 10-K walk starting at 7 a.m., followed by a 5-K run starting at 7:45. The 10-K run will begin at 8 a.m. and the always popular 2-mile fun walk/run begins at 9 a.m.

Aside from the coronavirus precautions, the runs shape up to be memorable. The majority of the course will be on the new Madras Trails across from Juniper Hills, which showcases the great views from the hills east of Madras.

Registration is online only and can be done at www.macrecdistrict.com. There will be a limit of the number of participants, so early registration is encouraged. The fee to participate is $15. The deadline to register is July 2. If the event is canceled, entry fees will be returned.

Proceeds for the event go to the Todd Beamer Memorial Scholarship and to the MAC swim team.

Todd Beamer, Bud Beamer's son, died in 1997. at age 28. A popular educator on the Oregon Coast, Todd Beamer was visiting his family in Madras when he took several family dogs with him on a run along an irrigation ditch road. He did not return from the run. His body was found three days later in the North Unit Irrigation District siphon. It is most likely that he entered the canal to save a struggling dog, or more than one, and succumbed to the current himself.

Todd Beamer was raised in Madras and was a 1987 MHS graduate. He was an athlete throughout his life. As quarterback, he guided the 1986 MHS team to the football state quarterfinals, a playoff level no other MHS team reached before or since. He was also a member of the Eastern Oregon University football team.

The run is regularly the most popular race on the Madras running calendar.

Funds raised by the run go toward the Todd Beamer Memorial Scholarship.


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