Try out the track
BLUE RIVER: Two “All Comers Meets” are coming to the McKenzie Community Track & Field on consecutive Mondays - July 1st, and 8th, both at 6 p.m. The public is invited to test their skill for a long or high jump or how far they can throw.
Besides the running and jumping, there will be a “Predict-A-Mile” event with participants predicting how long it will take them to complete a certain number of laps around the track. The person closest to their predicted time will win.
By Pete Petty
Thought it a good idea to point out a few things you may see in the coming weeks at and around the McKenzie Community Track and Field in Blue River. The most exciting activity should be the beginning of the new building construction at the track. Track board vice-president, George Letchworth was probably dancing a celebration jig when he finally secured the building permits! The long awaited paper work clears the way for the work to begin. The $500,000 project will greatly enhance the facilities at the track and hopefully be near completion in time for the Chainsaw Art Festival in August. While on the subject of the festival, you should see a stack of timbers being collected adjacent to the track. That’s the supply of what could be described as the canvas for the chainsaw artists to work their magic. Judy Casad and her team of volunteers have been busy lining up participants and sponsors for the event, which will be the annual major fund raiser for the MCTF. All categories of sponsorship are still available and there is a deadline approaching to get maximum benefit from being a sponsor. Sponsor banners will be made for each sponsor and this Friday, June 28 is the last day to have a banner ordered. For details on becoming a sponsor check out the track website, www.mckenzietrack.com. If you know of any cedar logs that would be good for carving contact Jeff Sherman. The McKenzie Chainsaw Art Festival will be held the same weekend as the McKenzie Arts Festival in Leaburg, making the weekend of August 16-18 a true celebration of art in the McKenzie River Valley!
Amidst the flurry of activity of the building work some fun fitness events will be taking place at the track. Every Thursday morning at 10am for the next several weeks, a fitness walk around the track will be held. Alexandra Ranucci, a college junior is volunteering at the McKenzie River Clinic in Blue River this summer and will be leading the walk. Ms. Ranucci is interested in rural medicine and is willing to share her expertise in fitness with all interested. Young and old are encouraged to join the walk each Thursday morning. Folks of all age groups will also have a fun fitness opportunity when the track hosts two “All Comers Meets” in July. Monday, July 1 and 8 at 6pm the track volunteers will host any and all participants for a family fun evening. If you’ve ever wanted to try a long jump or high jump or see how far you can throw, this is your golden opportunity to try it out. Including in the running and jumping, will be a “Predict-A-Mile” event. Participants make a prediction on the length of time it will take them to complete a certain number of laps around the track and the person closest to their predicted time wins! The Steeple Chase pit may even be filled with water for those wanting to take a dip as they run the chase! A great opportunity to get the family out for some exercise.
While visiting the track, you may want to check out the progress made on improving the Blue River Park Trail, a short distance from the Aaron and Marie Jones Community Field. The young people in the US Forest Service YCC program helped clear the trail along the Blue River and it’s amazing the progress made by the energetic group of teenagers! They worked with volunteers from the Ford Family Leadership Program last Thursday clearing the trail leading to the proposed site of a footbridge to be placed across the river. The trail head is located behind the baseball diamond and it’s a great walk along the Blue River, maybe of a mile on a gentle terrain. It was once used as part of the cross country track trail and hopefully will become another great trail for visitors to our area to enjoy.
It seems each time I gather information for this column, I become more and more convinced that we really are very fortunate to call the McKenzie River Valley our home. I hope you feel the same way too!
McKenzie River Reflections