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By KAYTLIN WORKMAN
For the Mahomet Citizen
Members of Friends of the Library and Mahomet Rotary are preparing for the 11th annual Run for the Library, set to take place on Saturday, April 1 at 8 a.m.
This will be the eleventh time the event has been held, but not its eleventh year. The run was changed last year from the traditional date in November to April to better account for weather conditions.
“We used to have it in November, the weekend before Thanksgiving, but the weather was so unpredictable that we moved it to April 1 last year for the first year,” said Lynn Schmit, Director of the Mahomet Public Library and one of three chairmen of Run for the Library.
“The weather was a bit breezy, but once we got in the park the trees blocked the wind for the most part, so it really wasn’t bad at all.”
The event got its start in 2006, when Schmit was president of Mahomet Rotary.
“It started with the assistance from Rotary and [former Rotary member] Jeff Fago and we just got it organized and it’s continued to grow,” she said. “We keep refining it to make it better.”
Last year was also the first for a 10K run, which organizers added to the traditional 5K run/walk.
For an event of this scale, Run for the Library needs over 70 volunteers. Anyone from teens to adults is free to help — and potential volunteers don’t have to be affiliated with either of the sponsoring groups.
Volunteers may sign up at http://signup.com/go/m7QdWe or call the library at (217) 586-2611.
Proceeds from the event are split equally between the Friends of the Library and Mahomet Rotary.
Rotary is a supporter of a number of causes in the community, as well as internationally. Friends of the Library helps with expenses that aren’t covered by the library budget.
“We have a disk cleaner they bought for our CD’s and our movies, they contribute to our coffee station, they contribute to our summer reading program, which enables us to find books for each of the children who complete the program, they’ve bought us a nice camera, they’ve funded our 50th anniversary party, and too many different things to name,” Schmit said. “They have been very generous.”
The date of Run for the Library falls before the Illinois Marathon, and organizers believe it is a great destination for people looking to train for that larger event.
“Some of the people are doing this for fun, some are just dedicated runners and this is another opportunity to compete,” Schmit said. “But it also helps to prepare people and let them know if they are ready to participate in the marathon.”
It’s Race Time will provide chip timers for the race in order for both officials and runners to track their pace more efficiently and more exactly.
Registration is $30 for adults including walk-in registrations the morning of the event. Children ages 11 and under register for $10. Runners may register at runforthelibrary.info.
There will be water stations available at miles two and five for the runners as well as a porta-potty at the race start/finish. There will also be recovery food and beverages available to runners.
Packets will be ready for pick up at the library from 4-6 p.m. at the Mahomet-Seymour Public Library the night before the race or the morning of the race. The packet includes the bib, the runners number, the t-shirt, the pins for the bib and information from businesses and organizations that sponsor the event.
For more information you can visit runforthelibrary.info, call the library at (217) 586-2611 or visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/RunfortheLibrary.
“I think this is a great event to be a part of because the benefits are so far-reaching,” said Schmit. “Not only the health benefits, but also the benefits that carry over in the money that is earned. All of it is spent on projects that benefit the community.”