Run, salmon run

5K walk/run supports Ninilchik local youth

Get off on the right foot for this year’s Salmonfest music festival and join the inaugural Great Salmon Run 5K race on Saturday, Aug. 5.

Created as a community interactive event to help support Ninilchik learning and growth opportunities by newly founded nonprofit Thrive Ninilchik, the race will donate 100% of its profits to Thrive to help support local youth, according to the event registration website.

The event’s genesis began when Nick Finley, head coach of the Ninilchik High School basketball team, reached out to Salmonfest staff to discuss the potential of organizing the race, with the thought that the proceeds would benefit the high school sports teams of Ninilchik, Salmonfest assistant producer Jack Money wrote in an email to Homer News.

Brian McCoorison, a parent of one of Ninilchik High School’s basketball players, was inspired to take the idea a bit further.

“Brian took the bull by the horns and made this possible,” Money wrote. “He broadened the original scope of just athletic teams and started Thrive Ninilchik as a way to help fund sports, art, music, and financial gaps for local community youth.”

Money credits McCoorison for securing sponsors for the run and mapping out the route.

“He even volunteered during the Cosmic Homer Half Marathon to learn the timing operations required for the run,” Money wrote. “Salmonfest involvement has been limited. We’ve met to bounce ideas off one another and we gave him the okay to run through the festival, but the credit goes to Brian and his wife Tiffany for putting in the leg work required to start such an event like this.”

Rate registration for the Great Salmon Run is still open. Late registration and bib pickup will be available on Friday from 4-10 p.m., location to be determined, and Saturday from 7-8:30 a.m. at the race’s starting line, according to the registration website.

The race will kick off on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds entrance and finish under the arch at the River Stage amphitheater. Race participants are encouraged to wear costumes.

“Opportunities like this mean the most to us,” Money wrote. “The youth are our future and Ninilchik is our home. Any way we can support both in one swing is exactly the reason why I and so many others are in this line of business.”

This inaugural run will become a recurring event for future years to come.

For more information or to register for the race, visit