Monday, May 20, 2013
sponsored by

Main Street invites everyone to the 'Cruise into Main Street 5K & Health Expo'

Send a link to a friend

[May 20, 2013]  The Main Street Lincoln organization is inviting everyone to make their way downtown to the courthouse square for a day of good, healthy fun on June 8. The event is dubbed as the "Cruise into Main Street 5K and Health Expo," and there will be a lot of interesting and fun activities going on the entire day. So whether you choose to participate in the 5K or not, it may still be worth your time to come check it out.

According to Main Street board member and 5K committee chair Tracy Welch, the day will begin with the 5K, but there will also be other activities, such as vendors for a community health fair, and hours and hours of live entertainment on the square.

Welch said some may think the event got its name from the downtown car cruise-ins, but in fact this event is about an entirely different kind of cruise.

And there will be two big giveaways: a week at the Biggest Loser Resort in Chicago and an ocean cruise.

Anyone age 18 and older who registers to participate in the 5K will be eligible to win the cruise, listed as a $500 value.

Anyone age 14 and older in attendance at the event will be eligible to win a week's stay at the resort. Welch said the week at the resort is a buy-one, get-one-free promotion for a new resort in Chicago. For those who are fans of the television show "Biggest Loser," you will know that there is a Biggest Loser Resort on the West Coast. The company that owns it is expanding to Chicago, and the week's stay is a $2,500 value, or 50 percent off the cost of a stay for two.

When asked how the committee managed to get the resort stay, he said, "You'll be surprised what can happen when you send an email." Welch said he and his wife, Annette, are big fans of "The Biggest Loser" television show. On the show, the contestants participate at the Biggest Loser Resort in California. Welch said he'd learned that another resort was going to open in Chicago, so he sent an email and asked them to donate to the Lincoln event. They responded that they were not able to give away a free trip, but they would give a buy-one, get-one-free.

In addition to the prizes and the run, there will also be vendors on hand to discuss their products and your health. Welch said he is still trying to work out the details right now on who will be there, but he is optimistic that there will be several when the big day arrives.

The downtown portion of the city will be blocked off for the daylong party that will take place during and after the race. Welch said the Railsplitter Auto Club has been invited to come for a special cruise-in, and there will be live music the entire day.

Among those on the stage will be Erin Eskra Vargo and Mike Vargo. Some will remember Erin as part of a sister duo who have performed at events in Lincoln in the past. Welch said both sisters were not available, but Erin said she would come with husband Mike, who is also a professional musician. The Vargos now live in Nashville and are developing their careers in the music profession.

Julia Kay Rhodes is another powerful songstress who will grace the downtown stage. From the Chicago area, Rhodes has been on several nationally televised shows, such as "Nashville Spotlight," "Seven on Ridge" with Michael Essany, "Today's Talent Network" and "American Kids Nationals."

Others who are scheduled to entertain are musicians Joe Borbely and Greg Gemberling, and of course in Lincoln, you can't have a party without a little bluegrass. The Blue Grass Pickers who entertained at last year's Railsplitter Festival will be on hand to offer some of their best stylings.

In addition to all this, there will be a special guest in attendance. Joe Briseno will address the audience. Briseno is a 5K runner who recently found himself in Boston during that very tragic event.

Main Street is also encouraging local retailers to have special sales that day and to set up sidewalk sales to draw attendees toward their stores.

Welch also said that of all the things visitors will find on the downtown square, food vendors are the one thing they won't find.

For the runners there will be food at the Oasis Senior Center, but he hopes that everyone who attends will take the time to visit the local restaurants on the downtown square. There are several eateries on the square and just off the square, including Guzzardo's, Hallie's, Mama's Arcade, Sorrento's and Vintage Fare.

[to top of second column]

Welch also explained that for the serious runners, the committee has made arrangements for "chips" for their shoes. These chips accurately measure the time of the run. Welch said this is important because serious runners are always working to improve their time, and this record helps them see their progress.

The committee is also offering some special incentives for school groups to participate. With the help of wife Annette, Welch said they have sent out special registration forms to the area schools. Kids are encouraged to register for the 5K, and if they do so on the special form for their school, the school will receive $5 for each entry.

And finally, Welch said they are hoping for some serious public participation at the end of the run. As a runner himself, Welch said it is really encouraging to see a crowd of people cheering the runners at the end of the race.

The city has agreed to allow for North Kickapoo to be closed to traffic when the runners get there. Welch said he would love to see both sides of the street from Lincoln Avenue to Broadway lined with spectators cheering on their favorite runners, or all the runners in general.

The organization also has plans for several future events, some of them familiar from the past, some new and some restructured.

The Art of Wine this year at the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival is going to be revamped and will be the Art of Wine and Brew. Welch said they will have more details on that later, as well as on a new event in October that is right now being called "Lincoln in Lincoln -- 1858." Trick or Treat with the Mayor is scheduled for Oct. 26 this year.

And there is going to be an annual Christmas parade. Welch said that Main Street director Bill Hoagland is hoping to breathe a little new life into the parade, and we should all look forward to hearing more about that later. Also, there will still be Saturdays with Santa in December.


5K route

The race will begin near the intersection of Kickapoo and Pulaski streets and head south on Kickapoo. At Frorer Avenue runners will turn left. At Bryant Avenue they will turn right and take the curve onto Comet. From Comet they will proceed to Home Avenue and take a left. Shortly afterward will be their first checkpoint.

Runners will then proceed northward on Home to Wyatt and take another right turn onto Wyatt. They will pass the Odd Fellows home, where the Y and Christian Child Care are located, and run onto South Ladue, where they will turn left. They will take South Ladue all the way to Pekin Street and turn left onto Pekin. They will then proceed onto North Elliott Street, where they will find their second checkpoint. They will then take North Elliott northward to Tremont Street, where they will turn left. They will stay on Tremont to South Sherman and then make another right turn.

When they reach Lincoln Avenue, they will turn left again and proceed to North Kickapoo Street. They will turn left on Kickapoo and proceed southward toward the downtown square. The third checkpoint will be at the southwest corner of Latham Park. From there everyone will run or walk the home stretch to the finish line, just beyond the Kickapoo and Broadway intersection.

This is the first year that the Main Street organization has done a 5K, and Welch said their only real goal here is to raise the traffic level in the downtown area. The purpose of the Main Street organization is to bring shoppers to the city's historic downtown area, to help keep the downtown a living and vital part of the community.


Main Street now has a separate website for its Lincoln events. You can access the website to read more about the 5K, as well as other events as they progress. You can visit that website at


< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching and Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law and Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health and Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor