Special race deserves a trophy that’s worthy
Published 9:14 am Thursday, March 2, 2017
When the 800 runners who are expected to take part in Saturday’s Run Thru History at the Vicksburg National Military Park begin their run, they will be doing so to beat their time, win their division and claim what many consider a trophy worth “cherishing.”
The Junius Ward Johnson Memorial YMCA’s annual run is held in one of the more unique settings of any run, which provides a unique challenge to race organizers.
“I would say, in the Deep South, this run is a one-of-a-kind race,” executive director Philip Doiron said. “That is why we want a one-of-a-kind trophy.”
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The trophies, awarded to winners of divisions, is created through a partnership between the YMCA and Signs First of Vicksburg.
Signs First works with a number of other vendors to help create the unique look and feel of the trophy, which again includes a model of a cannon mounted to the plaque.
“ They’re very pricey too, to make them,” Doiron said. “And we do that on purpose, because we believe that a unique trophy should belong to a unique race.”
He said the trophy, which has gone through variations throughout the years, once including a model of a musket used during the Civil War, is always based on connecting the race to where it is held.
And, as for the runners, they want to win it, he said.
“Those who win them cherish it. If you are an avid runner, and you go to five or 10 races a year, you are going to receive some trophies. And they are just sitting on a shelf or get stuffed in a closet,” Doiron said. “In fact, I have several of the trophies that I won back in the 1990s and they are right next to my bed right now and the rest of my trophies are somewhere else in the attic.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, 656 runners had signed up for Saturday’s race, with more expected. Doiron said he expects more than 800 runners to take part.
Registration is still open online, at runthruhistory.org, or at the YMCA through mid-day Friday.
Friday evening and the morning of the run, runners can register at the race site at the Vicksburg National Military Park.
The event includes a 10K run, which begins at 8 a.m., a 5K walk at 8:05 and a 1-mile fun run that kicks off at 9:30 a.m.
The awards ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.