The organizers of the Mercy Foundation Moose Run have decided to switch from manual timing to chip timing. According to race organizer Byron Kuster, “In past years, we’ve always had trouble getting accurate race results posted in a timely manner. Something always goes wrong. With chip timing, we are guaranteed to have accurate results posted as fast as possible.”
With chip timing, each participant’s bib has a disposable, non-toxic chip attached to it. When a runner crosses the computer mat at the start line, his chip starts his personal timer; when he crosses the same mat at the finish line, his chip stops the timer. The computer keeps track of each runner’s elapsed time, his average pace, his overall ranking, and his place within his age/gender bracket. Just to be safe, manual timing will still be used as a backup in case something goes wrong with the computer.
Each year, hundreds of runners and walkers of all ages line up in the Moose Lake City Park for the start of the Mercy Foundation Moose Run, always on the first Saturday in May. Tom Kenemore’s DJ business, “Pro Sound & Light,” provides high energy music throughout the morning and keeps the party atmosphere going strong.
The first event of the morning, the Kid’s Run, begins at 9 a.m. and is free. All of the kids get a runner’s bib with the number "1" on it, a participation medal, and a coupon for a free cone from Dairy Queen. The two main events, the 5km (3.1 mile) walk/run and 10km (6.2 mile) run, start at 9:30 a.m. Over 300 participants are expected this year, with about twice as many doing the 5km course as compared to the 10km event. Water is available on the course and snacks, including moose cookies, are available afterwards to all participants. An award ceremony takes place immediately following the race.
The Moose Lake community has been very supportive of the Moose Run. The Mercy Foundation continues to be its primary sponsor as it has since the run’s inception. Many local businesses (Gateway Clinic, Moose Lake Motors, Lake State Federal Credit Union, Marketplace Food, Hoffmann Hardware, Art’s Café, First National Bank, Oakview, Gampers, and Cousin’s Construction) support the Moose Run financially and are listed on the back of the T-shirt that each participant receives. Numerous volunteers help with road crossings and race day registration. The local police and sheriff keep the course safe. Offenders from the Willow River corrections facility clean the Moose Lake City Park and sweep the race course prior to the event. It takes help from many individuals and organizations to make the Mercy Foundation Moose Run safe and successful.
The Moose Run also gives back to the community. All profits from the run get donated to various local charities and non-profits.
Registration forms for the 2013 Moose Run can be downloaded from the Northland Runner website or from the Moose Lake Chamber of Commerce website. This year’s participation fee is $20 if postmarked by April 26 and $30 afterwards. Events will take place on May 4 in Moose Lake.