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Some of the Rec Center staff and volunteers who helped with the Runners Stampede in 2017 were (front, from left)

Jessica Reesy, Karla Scovel (back) Jayde Cobourn, Brad Sankey, Parker Shreve, Jordan Phillips and Jordan Wasia (Courtesy photo)

For the Cody Rec Center volunteers who man the registration booths and hand out water, the Fourth of July starts early.

There are 16 staff needed to run the Runners Stampede, especially for registration. They arrive at 5 a.m. to start setting up the check-in table, add signs, gather T-shirts and organize race bibs. 

The run starts at 7 a.m. For more information contact organizer Kelly Bower at kellys@cityofcody.com.

“The tradition of the Fourth is such a huge part of Cody,” organizer Kelly Bower said. “It is a lot of work but the staff are great about being a part of the event and a lot of us are eager to be a part of it.”

The race is full of individuals who start off the holiday side-by-side with their friends and family, ready to begin the day on foot. 

The annual 5K walk and a 5K and 10K run began 38 years ago and preparing for it is no walk in the park. Work starts months in advance as sponsors are gathered to help support the race. 

The courses are marked the day before the event to avoid any unforeseen storms that may wash away marks.  

“After 37 years we still learn something new every year,” Bower said.

Rec Center staff give up not only the time during the race to work but hours leading up to it. 

While more than 200 usually compete there are usually around 50-75 runners who register the day of the race. 

Bower said it is appreciated when people register beforehand as it is hectic for the staff having to add names to the spreadsheets and get everyone registered by 6:45 a.m.

Before the swarm of runners hit the course, water stations are hauled to their locations and the staff is dispersed throughout to make sure runners and walkers stay of the right path. 

At the start of the race the mass of runners start on the road, requiring some police assistance. Then runners disperse so roads do not need to be blocked off.

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