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'Running through the fire' July 2

posted Mar 16, 2016, 8:13 AM by John Ramthun   [ updated Mar 16, 2016, 8:14 AM ]
Kim Lamoreaux klamoreaux@capitalnewspapers.com, 608-393-5777

As if it isn’t hot enough in July, there is a group forming to walk — or run — next to a burning tower of flames at Fire on the River.

The Eagle Chase Run/Walk is the newest event added for the Sauk Prairie area’s Fourth of July celebration. The July 2 event will get runners “fired up” with pyrotechnics provided by Sauk City’s own Curt Diehl of J & M Displays.

The slogan for the race is “I ran through fire.” I will start at Derleth Park at 7 a.m. with a 5K and 10K race, or the chance to take on a half marathon of 13.1 miles.

The route is a tour of the Sauk Prairie area, including the August Derleth river trail, the new Prairie Street recreation trail and adjacent hospital trail in Prairie du Sac, and rural River Road along the Wisconsin River.

The 6:8 group, best known for the annual “Feed My Starving Children” event, is again organizing what it calls “The Festival that Feeds,” a food drive that sends meals to third world countries.

“We’re most excited about having a half marathon ,” 6:8 co-director John Ramthun said. “That distance is rare for a run in our community. We’re hoping that will draw more people. We already have someone from Massachusetts signed up.”

Once the runners have left their mark, a pancake breakfast will be served up by members of the Sauk Prairie Kiwanis Club, a new addition to the day’s food line-up.

Spectators will have a prime seat as they eat breakfast by a portion of the run/walk route. “You won’t get a better breakfast view than that with the bluffs in the background,” Ramthun said.

There will also be live music going on during the breakfast and throughout the day.

Pizza Hut, offering pizza by the slice, will be another newcomer to the festival food menu, along with the usual brats, burgers and fries.

Late in the afternoon, the Flavors of Sauk Prairie returns with some tempting samples from some local culinary masters like Paul Beloungy of Paul’s Chocolates, Wyttenbach’s Meats, the No. 1 Kitchen Buffet, the Gym Bar and Grill, Leystra’s, LaMexicana and Green Acres, to name a few.

All day there will be games for young and old going on, including the popular water gun arena for anyone interested in briefly cooling off, and human foosball will return this year.

The festival offers an array of eclectic live music acts including the Kris Pickar Dance Company, the Irish music of the Kells, the local folk trio the Prairie Spies and the folk rock of Madison’s award-winning Beth Kille band. Rounding out the night will be with the classic rock of the Madison-based Retro Specs until — and after — the fireworks display.

Prairie du Sac’s own professional singer Lindsey Juarez will offer her rousing version of the national anthem to segue into what could be Sauk Prairie’s — and western Dane County’s — most spectacular display of pyrotechnics of the holiday.

Volunteers for the day in all areas are needed for preparations and set up beginning June 30 and July 1. The time slots for the beer garden of noon to 4 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. are full.

Sign up online at http://www.fireontheriver.org.