Tug of war added to St. Charles river, color runs

 
 
Updated 3/21/2018 3:27 PM
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  • The new "Heart of the Fox Run & Tug" event in St. Charles this spring will include an all-inclusive color run through Pottawatomie Park.

    The new "Heart of the Fox Run & Tug" event in St. Charles this spring will include an all-inclusive color run through Pottawatomie Park. Courtesy of John Rabchuk

A fundraiser supporting two St. Charles organizations this spring will combine a color run, a set of 5K and 10K races, and a tug of war tournament across the Fox River.

The new tug of war concept adds a level of friendly competition to the former Bob Leonard River Run, which has been revamped and renamed the "Heart of the Fox Run & Tug," organizer John Rabchuk said. Proceeds from the May 20 event will be split between the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles and the St. Charles Noon Kiwanis Club.

"We've been toying with the idea of the tug of war for a number of years," Rabchuk said. "We've always had an interest in trying to do something that would ... draw people to the downtown area and encourage them to patronize restaurants (and) shops. We thought this might be a way to do that."

The competition will use a 700-foot rope extending across the river from the BMO Harris Bank parking lot on the east side to the First Street Plaza on the west. From 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., teams of 10 will try pulling 20 feet of rope from the opposing team, organizers said.

The rope, as well as mats for providing traction, were purchased from the Tug of War International Federation, Rabchuk said. The setup has been designed to prevent participants from being pulled into the river.

The event already has generated buzz from community groups, Rabchuk said. Participating teams will be divided into two brackets: a community bracket consisting of businesses, local high school athletic teams and other resident groups, and a municipality bracket, which includes fire, police and other employees from local towns. Registration is $30 per person.

Organizers are partnering with the Fox Valley and Western DuPage special recreation associations to make this year's Color Fun Run all-inclusive, Rabchuk said. Kids of all ages and abilities, as well as their parents and caretakers, will be able to participate in the run through five color stations in Pottawatomie Park.

The color run, scheduled for 9:30 a.m., costs $20 per person, though participants affiliated with the special recreation associations are eligible for a discounted rate. The 5K and 10K races along the Fox River cost $35 to $45 per runner and will begin at 7:30 a.m.

The River Corridor Foundation has designated its portion of the event proceeds to the Active River Project, which aims to beautify downtown St. Charles and enhance recreational opportunities along the Fox River, said Rabchuk, the organization's president. He is also president of the Kiwanis Club, which will be raising money for a "signature project" to fit into the downtown and riverfront enhancements, he said.

"Once the (Active River Project) design is done, we'd like to be able to pick a feature and donate it to the city," he said, pointing to examples such as a splash pad or an accessible tree house. "There are a bunch of different things it could be."

To register, visit heartoftheFox.itsyourrace.com.

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