Things have changed, but July 4th Walk/Run is still on course

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Come July 4, thousands of participants in the Mount Shasta July 4 Run/Walk will be sporting t-shirts with this logo on them. The design comes from Mount Shasta's Mei Drucker and is titled, "Hearts of Mt. Shasta"

In the 34 year history of Mount Shasta’s July 4th Walk/Run, change has been a constant. A new twist, new forms of entertainment on the course, a new fundraising goal, some new imaginative way to grow the event.

Despite two large changes at the organizational level this year, the beat goes on. A two-mile youth race, two-mile walk along a path packed with entertainers and food samples, a popular 5 mile race with a tough final stretch up Mount Shasta’s Lake Street.

Another new car, a 2013 Subaru Impreza from Redding Subaru, will be won by a lucky registered participant – and as always, he or she will have to be present for the raffle drawing after the awards presentations on the Castle Street stage in downtown Mount Shasta.

Winners will also have to be present for other raffle prizes, including: electronic technology from John's Satellite, gift certificate from Village Books, two season ski passes at Mt. Shasta Ski Park, photography of Mt. Shasta by Kevin Lahey Photography, snowboard from the Sportsmen’s Den, jewelry from Jon Thomas Fine Jewelry, tires from Mt Shasta Tire Company.

Event founder Dr. Jim Parker was honored during the recent dedication of Parker Plaza, nearly a year after he announced on July 4, 2012 that he was stepping down as director and master of ceremonies. The Plaza was created from a parking lot on Mt. Shasta Blvd. with proceeds from the July 4th event and many donations large and small.

It wasn’t many months after Dr. Parker stepped down that do-everything volunteer Marcia Smith died.

“It’s been a challenge moving forward,” said Mountain Runners president Dusty Miller. “Marcia had all this stuff she did, and a lot of us had no clue.”

But during the Walk/Run committee’s first meeting after her passing, Miller said, “We decided we had to keep it going. No way we were not going to have this big event.”

So, torches are being passed, and, as the event’s history would suggest, Miller says many have been stepping up to do what they can.

“The main pieces are in place and registrations are coming in,” he said earlier this week.

While a longterm replacement for the event’s master of ceremonies has yet to be found, Miller said Dr. Parker’s son, Dr. Nathan Parker, will be part of the ceremony on stage this July 4th.

Many aspects of the event are being taken care of by volunteers who know their assignments well, and Miller said Mountain Runners board member Sue Bailey got the car lined up and dealt with mailing lists, while board member Courtney Chase, with no previous experience at it, took on working with sponsors and doing publicity.

Tori Parks of Redding, who has experience as a race director, joined the effort and “has been a lot of help,” according to Miller.

Entry fees have gone up slightly this year to keep up with changing times, but otherwise, Miller said, “We’re trying to follow the model from the past... next year we’ll restructure and start building again.”

For more event details and to register see page A6 or go online to: