MAHOMET — If organizers asked Mother Nature for this year’s Run for the Library to go exactly “by the book,” they were almost on target.
Only a bit of morning fog clouded the otherwise practically perfect atmosphere for the annual fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Mahomet and Friends of the Mahomet Public Library held at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve.
“We’re very blessed with the weather,” John Howard, library director, said just before the race stepped off. “It’s going to be good weather for good times this year. Just cool enough without being cold.”
With 127 participants signed up and 116 finishers, the combination 5K run/walk and 10K run raised just more than $8,000 for the two organizations, said Kate Smith, business manager for the library district.
Runners Katie Baker, who lives near Alton, and companion Derek Whalen of Mahomet turned out to get some exercise in the race and for their first visit to Lake of the Woods.
“I just figured it’d be a good thing to do — come out on a Saturday morning and get some exercise, and it’s for a good cause,” Whalen said.
Young and old alike turned out to support the Rotary and library. Haylie Orton and Klein Powell, both 15 and students at Mahomet-Seymour High School, chose the run as part of their service hours for the Interact Club. They were on hand to offer cups of water to the thirsty athletes about halfway through the 10K.
“I ran it once when I was in junior high,” Powell noted about the race.
Gary Denzer, treasurer for the Rotary, said many people benefit from the proceeds the event garners. This is about the 15th year for the race, he said.
“Pretty much everybody’s involved someplace or another during the race,” said Denzer, who was helping sign up race day entries. “It’s a good two-hour morning project that we work on year round. It’s really our biggest fundraiser. We use the money to support local and some international projects.
“I’ve been here for the last five or six years and this is one of our bigger races,” he added. “We had probably 35 or so walk-up signups this morning. If it’s over 30, it’s a good day.
“It’s been a joint library-Rotary project the whole time,” Denzer added. “Last year, actually, we used the proceeds and did a joint project with the Friends and donated furniture for the children’s area in the library. We combined the two groups. That was good.”
Premier sponsors of the run were Andrew White, D.M.D, P.C.; New Creations Contracting, Inc.; and Blair-Owens Funeral Home. Full results from the race are available through It’s Race Time, Inc.
First past the finish line was overall winner Laura Krasa of Urbana with a time of 17:51. Nick Morphew of Mahomet came in second with a time of 19:18.