Running for Ray

One of our favorite 4th of July traditions is running in our little town’s annual 5K.  We have participated every year since we moved here 10 years ago, and created a tradition among my siblings and their families as well.  We meet early in the morning, watch the kids run the one mile and then board the buses for the starting line and the run which ends at the high school.  After we are done running, we cool off with water and popsicles and enjoy the award presentation and drawing with family and friends.  It is a great way for our community to begin the 4th of July.  Until now…

This year there is some controversy and small town politics that have resulted in the creation of another race and a rift in the city.  So ironic on a day when we celebrate the formation and unity of our country.  If you’re interested, you can read about it here. I have read everything I can about the situation and talked to lots of fellow runners about what race they are choosing to run.  I’m torn.  Am I part of Team Original Race or Team New Race?

Team Original Race:  The original race is great and I appreciate all of the work and effort that has gotten it to where it is today.  Larry Lawrence has done a great job of organizing and keeping pace with the growth of the race.  I like the laid-back attitude and the opportunity to compete and get an official time so I can check my own progress.  I think Larry deserves recognition and appreciation for his work through the years…without his efforts, most of the runners would not know who Ray Barrus was or why we run in his name.

Team Original Race:  According to the newspaper article, the city of Grantsville approached the Ray Barrus family to see how they felt about the 5K generating a profit for Larry Lawrence.  Why did the city do this, and are they responsible for stirring up so much controversy?  If so, this is not a race I choose to participate in.

Team New Race:  The new 5K is a non-profit race and all proceeds will be donated to the high school cross country team.  Great team and great idea!

Team Original Race:  I don’t mind running a for-profit race…I’m okay with pitching in a few bucks for whoever takes the time to organize and run the race.

Team New Race:  More runners in this race and more runners makes for a better race and a faster pace.

Team Original Race:  Love the course!

Team New Race:  Costs less.

Team Original Race:  Now it costs less!

Team New Race: Great corporate sponsors…people I know and love.

Team Both Races:  Running is great and it is nice to honor a great runner from our community.  Two community races is awesome.

Team Neither Race:  Two community races on the same day, beginning 5 minutes apart, and crossing courses is crazy! I think the fireworks on this 4th of July might start really early.   Both sides have handled this situation poorly and both continue to feed the fire with social media, mailers, and attempts to confuse the public.  Both sides have completely forgotten what the day is about, what running is about, and what the man was about.

So…I’ve decided to go with Team Neither Race.  Instead, I’m running my own race down South Willow Canyon with my sister and anyone else who wants to join us.  No t-shirt or awards or controversy at this race.  Instead, there will be scenery, unity, and the simplicity of running.  I think Ray would approve.


2 thoughts on “Running for Ray

  1. I was just browsing the web looking for results of the 5k race when I came across your blog. I’m sorry to hear that the conflict resulted in you not participating in either race, hopefully you and your family had a great run. As a member of the Barrus family I thought I’d share a few thoughts regarding some of your pros and cons of the 2 races this year.
    Larry has done a great job with the race and I’m very appreciative that so many people know of Ray Barrus as a result of Larry’s efforts to grow the race. The financial discussion actually started because Grantsville city’s books were audited by the state, the city had been donating money and city resources to the race but when the state found out it was a profitable venture the city ‘got in trouble’. Generally I’m not apposed to a business venture but not when public, tax dollars are being used, which is the same issue the state had. Additionally, as a family member, I don’t like that Ray’s name and running career were being commercially used for a profit without his children’s consent.
    I don’t even live in Grantsville but from what I heard about, I was disappointed at how much conflict was created over this issue. Hopefully, a peaceful resolution will be found prior to next year so there will once again be ONE great community race to honor and remember Ray.

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