Point Bock Run will take to streets March 5
The Point Bock Run will be held Saturday, March 5, once again filled to capacity with 2,000 runners.
The five-mile race begins at noon and follows a flat and fast five-mile course that starts and finishes at the Stevens Point Brewery, 2617 Water St., and goes along and crosses the Wisconsin River twice.
Runners head south on Water Street from the brewery, west and south on Whiting Avenue, west on Highway HH and north on West River Drive to about one mile north of HH where they turn around and return to the finish line at the brewery.
Pat Leahy, treasurer of Point Bock Run, said it doesn’t take long to sell out the entries in the race because of the demand. The field was filled in two hours and 15 minutes, he said.
Scott Gralla, president of the Point Bock Run, said 1,100 entries were sold in the first 10 minutes after they went on sale Jan. 1.
“Local runners get in in the first 10 minutes because they are prepared for it,” he said, adding that the organization hears from runners who are unable to enter.
However, the number of entrants has been set because of the length of the course and the fact that it’s an out-and-back course, which limits the number of runners.
“Sometimes people who just hear about the race contact us and want to get in, but we have to tell them registration is closed,” Gralla said.
Leahy and Gralla said Point Bock Run will be instituting two new programs this year after the run, with one providing two $500 scholarships annually through the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin for high school graduates of Portage County schools who ran track or cross country.
Point Bock Run will also provide funds for all elementary schools in Portage County to support running clubs with paid advisers.
They pointed out that the mission of the Point Bock Run is “to promote and support the sport of running and healthy lifestyles in central Wisconsin,” and the scholarships and elementary school programs follow that statement.
Each runner in the race is equipped with a chip that times their run and tracks the order the runners cross the finish line, and Gralla said this year runners can get the results faster than waiting for the results to be posted across the street from the large tent.
Six timing kiosks will be placed throughout the tent, he said, and runners can punch in their bib numbers and get their results, both overall and in their age division. “This is for those who want to know,” he said.
The results are important, he said, because every runner who sets a course or age record gets an invitation to run the following year for free.
Leahy and Gralla don’t expect any problems from the weather, although they admit it’s hard to predict.
A couple of years ago, it snowed the night before the event, but Leahy said snowplow crews from the city of Stevens Point had the course cleared and in good shape by the time the race started.
Cold has also been a factor in the past, but Gralla said there have been relatively few no-shows when it was frigid.
Once again the brewery will make Point Bock Beer available, as well as other beverages, in the beer tent near the brewery. Runners are provided with snacks and complementary drink coupons to redeem in the beer tent after they race.
Leahy said the Stevens Point Area Senior High School girls track club will sell concessions this year.
Gralla said he expects things to run smoothly as in prior years, and he credited that to the volunteers who donate their time to do the work necessary.