Packed program planned for 60th Jack 15
Prairie Striders will celebrate the 60th running of the Jack 15 road race with a special program Friday evening, Sept. 23, at the South Dakota Art Museum.
Dave Graves, president of the running club and director of the oldest road race in the Midwest, invites runners, community members and history lovers to the 7 p.m. event in the art museum auditorium. “This will be a special weekend with two days of days of inspiration, perspiration, tradition and celebration,” Graves said.
The first Jack 15 was held Dec. 7, 1963, as a challenge for members of the South Dakota State cross country team. There were 11 finishers that year. Six team members and two coaches will return for the celebration.
Others to be honored are the 17 runners who have completed at least 10 Jack 15s.
A lively panel discussion with seven Jack 15 notables is planned. The panelists are Tom Woodall, coach of the 1963 team; Lyle Koistinen, winner of the first Jack 15; Patty Reisdorfer, women’s course record holder; Jill Moncur, women’s master’s course record holder; Ruth Rehn, first women’s finisher; Randy Fischer, a 21-time finisher; and 96-year-old Bob Bartling, who has completed an incredible 38 Jack 15s.
The keynote speaker will be inspirational speaker and Jack 15 course record holder Dick Beardsley, who became a world-class runner shortly after his 1980 Jack 15 record setter.
Audience members also can test their hand at Jack 15 trivia. “Winners will go home with a prize and a smile,” Graves said.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, about 75 individuals and 20 teams will continue the history of the Jack 15. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. at Hooker and Main streets in White and finishes at the Campanile on the SDSU campus, just as it has done since 1963. Online registration is available through Sept. 22 at raceentry.com. Walk-up registration is available through race morning.
In addition to the 15.2-mile individual and relay race, there is a free 10:45 a.m. kids run for ages 2 to 12. Registration begins at 10 a.m. at the Campanile.
The Jack 15 awards presentation is at 11 a.m. at the Campanile with presenters Tom Woodall and Shari Landmark, former race director.
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