Thursday, August 18, 2022

KRR runners race to fund scholarships

by By PAUL BONNELL, Contributing Writer
| July 28, 2022 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — More than 160 runners and walkers participated in last Saturday’s Kootenai River Run, part of the 2022 Kootenai River Days. The run raises scholarships for local cross country and track athletes and is sponsored by ERA Shelman Realty and Idaho Forest Group.

New and welcome to the run this year were participants from Team Hoyt Coeur d'Alene — “one of nine teams across the country created in the shadow of the famed duo Team Hoyt.”

On Saturday they shared their “Yes You Can!” motto and their mission to "provide inclusiveness and have fun racing, together” at the Boundary County Fairgrounds.

“Wow, what a great time we had at your race this Saturday. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, and we felt so at home. We loved it,” Laurie Aikens of Team Hoyt Coeur d’Alene said of the event.

Highlights of Saturday’s race included favorites such as on-course entertainment by local musicians, the belly dancing group, and the Restorium Renegades. Several local businesses provided gifts as prizes and drawings for the participants. Participants were in the drawing for an array of prizes, from haircuts, to massages, merchandise, services, gift cards, sauna sessions, admission tickets, and more. The Kootenai River Run Committee wishes to thank all the local merchants for their donations to the prize drawings and Super 1 Foods for donating fruit for all the runners. They also thank race sponsors Shelman Realty and Idaho Forest Group.

The 5K and 10K race courses cross the Kootenai River Run twice, beginning and ending at the Boundary County Fairgrounds. With more than 120 participants in the 5K, and over 40 in the 10K, the atmosphere of the run was festive and fun — a community event. The top three placers in each age group received ribbons; the overall race winners received handmade trophies. Early registrants who ordered them received bright blue shirts embroidered by Brenda Woodward.

Race organizers and participants alike commented on the turnout for the race and how much people enjoyed the event. Several noted the positive aspects of joining up with Kootenai River Days, put on by the Bonners Ferry Chamber of Commerce. Participants who came out for the run were headed next to the farmer’s market, shopping at "crazy days," the circus, the cornhole tournament, class reunions, street dancing, and more.

Overall race winners were Camille Ussher (21:38 in the women’s 5K), Connor Alexander (17:33 in the men’s 5K), Lori Buratto (47:31 in the women’s 10K), and Alva Swanson (38:26 in the men’s 10K). Full race results are available online at and included below. Please note that there may be some time discrepancies in this year’s 5K. The Kootenai River Run apologizes in advance for any errors in times or placements.

The Kootenai River Run provides scholarships to graduating seniors from Bonners Ferry High School, based on their participation and performance in cross country and/or track, their scholastic performance, and their participation in the Kootenai River Run.

This year, one of the scholarships was also sponsored by Shelman Realty for a student who is civic minded, with a willingness to serve in the community. This year’s recipients are Camille Ussher (Shelman Realty/Kootenai River Run Scholarship) and Connor Alexander (Kootenai River Run Scholarship).

A leader in cross country and track, Ussher is going on to study and compete at Spokane Falls Community College. She has been active in service on her sports teams, at church, through Young Life, with elderly neighbors, and the Distinguished Young Women program.

Alexander has been a performance and team leader in Badger cross country and track and will be heading to Lewis-Clark State College in the fall to continue his studies and run for the LSCS Warriors. He is also known for his participation in the Boundary County tennis and pickleball leagues.

“The Kootenai River Run is awesome, and it’s always really cool to see half the town out there running and cheering,” Alexander said.

He went on to add that he felt this year “best captured the spirit of the Kootenai River Run. The generosity of everyone during the raffle, and having Team Hoyt there just really embodied what I feel the run is all about.”

Recent Headlines