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Run the West declared major success!

Posted 6/30/10 (Wed)

By Olivia Sundeen
Farmer Staff Intern

On your marks, get set, go! This year Watford City’s fifth annual Homest Run started out with a bang - literally. Thunder, lightning, and quite a bit of rain threatened this year’s run. But after a two-hour delay, the race was back on with sunny skies.
A nice crowd was in attendance with over 90 participants. People of all ages gathered together to push themselves, while having a good time.
The Run the West Homefest Run started five years ago. It is now coordinated by Tricia Sundeen, Sandi Sanford, and Laura Johnsrud. “We acted on a suggestion from Trish Gravos who always felt Homefest needed an event like this,” stated Sundeen.
The run consists of five different races - 10K, the 5K Run/Walk, the youth mile and the newest addition - the 10K Relay.
The 10K Relay is a fun race as well as a charitable one. For each team that enters $25 is set aside. The team that wins then gets to pick where the money will go to between the Cross Country team, the Watford City Parks and Recreation Department or the Wellness Center.
This year’s winner of the 10K Relay was the team made up of Olivia Sundeen, Paige Anderson, Marti Quale, and Joel Brown. They finished with a time of 43:28 and chose to donate their winnings to the Wellness Center.
Other male and female winners were: 5K Run: Nathan Burkhalter,  Prairie City, S.D., 19:25;  Kara Wold, Watford City, 23:36; 10K: Lane Kashur, Bismarck, N.D., 35:28; Suzy Stenehjem, Phoenix, Ariz., 46:11; 5K Walk: Heidi Carns, Watford City, 41:01; 1 Mile: Daniel Burkhalter, Prairie City, S.D., 5:52; Addison Sundeen, Watford City, 7:10.
This event is not only for people that come from the surrounding area, but it attracts many people from all over. This year Mike Strando from Seattle, Wash. ran the 10K. His goal is to tackle a race in each of the 50 states.
A lot of work goes into planning and organizing an event like the Homefest Run.
“We start getting together and discussing and planning as early as January and February,” stated Sandi Sanford.
The early planning pays off with new improvements being added each year to make the run more enjoyable. This year Shelly Schwan provided sports massages on site to help with any aches and pains, Jeff Nelson provided music, and there were many fun door prizes that were donated.
 Another addition to the 2010 event was that Mile Six is now dedicated to Watford City native Jacob Quale, who passed away in 2009. Jacob lived by the motto, “All or Nothing.” It is the Run the West’s coordinators’ desire that all of the participants leave this event with that same positive spirit.
 Despite the threatening weather the race went on and was declared a major success.
“This run is a success because it can’t fail,” stated Sanford. “Tricia, Laura and I are committed, along with our sponsors, to make sure that regardless of the numbers, it is an event that is family-friendly and one that has longevity. No doubt about it, this event will be here for a long time.”