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40th Woodstock Challenge to Embrace the ’70s

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For the past 40 years, the Woodstock Challenge has provided race opportunities for runners of all abilities through Emricson Park and the surrounding area. This year’s race, scheduled to take off at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 17, will continue the tradition and celebrate the 40th anniversary with special events.

The Woodstock Challenge will include a 10K road run at 8 a.m., a 5K run/walk at 8:05 a.m. and 1-mile and half-mile family runs at 9 a.m. Preregistration – accepted through June 12 – will be $25 for adults and $15 for youth, 17 years and younger. Participants can register online at signmeup.com/117700 or in person at the Woodstock Recreation Center, 820 Lake Ave. Race-day registration will be $35 adults, $25 youth, and will be accepted from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. Saturday, June 17, at Emricson Park.

“I think people like the variety of races we offer,” said Woodstock Recreation Director Dave Zinnen. “Our 10K is one of the most challenging courses in the state with mile 4 to 5 being almost all uphill.”

Plaques will be awarded to the top three finishers in each age and gender division in the 5K and 10K. In addition, Zinnen said since the 40th is the ruby anniversary, the first 40 finishers in those two races will receive red cooling towels. Gold medals will be awarded to all finishers younger than age 14.

As a throwback to the 1970s when the annual race got its start, organizers are encouraging participants to dress in ’70s clothing. The best theme-dressed male and female will receive a $100 gift card. At the conclusion of the race, the fun will continue with a ‘70s trivia contest during the awards ceremony. Runners and their families also can enjoy free swimming at Woodstock Waterworks following the race.

Proceeds from the Woodstock Challenge will benefit Woodstock Recreation Department’s Summer Playground Program, which is celebrating its own milestone 60th anniversary. The funds will help enhance the program. 

“We like to do extra things to boost the program such as a field trip,” said Zinnen.

For information on the Woodstock Challenge or the Summer Playground Program, call 815-338-4363.

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