Some things that have changed in 15 years of Reagan Running

Our course, although always a similar route, this is what you call a flexible course. We have consistently kept it a 5K course, (5 kilometers/3.1 mile). But in 15 years we have adjusted and adapted to bridge replacement, street renovation, increased runners, better opportunities for the race and still kept the same basic design of one mile street, middle mile wooded trail, one mile street. Originally we tried our best to avoid Galena and limit our use of Peoria but as we grew and as the city improved its infrastructure we created a more Downtown Dixon oriented venue and tried to show off the improvements and highlight our downtown. Thank you City of Dixon – you’re a wonderful host.

The participant numbers have grown from a first race of 300 plus runners to over 1600 participants last year. It’s gone from an easily managed summer fun run to a mass of serious contenders, runners and lots of enthusiastic joggers and walkers. The organizational challenges grow but always our committee has found willing volunteers and local assistance to meet the changes. We had runners from 37 states and 4 counties running last year’s event. Nice way to experience the Rock River Valley.

The Fun Run for the kids. It’s in its 14th year and has produced so, so many graduates that have moved on up to the full 5K race. It would be fun to have tracked some of the early youngsters and discovered if they felt the Fun Run was a stepping stone to running the big event, to competing, to having fun and running regularly. Regardless, it’s too cool and very inspiring to see 300 plus youngsters roaring down Hennepin hill, swinging by the old South Central School and twisting their way into Hay Market Square. Every participant gets a medal and lots of congratulations for a fine effort. They can then stick around and watch the finish of the Main Event.

This year the Kids Run crew has been working a Go Far Run Program which consists of a Tuesday & Thursday training run 8 weeks prior to the event. This effort also incorporates character building and good eating and health discussion with the kids. KSB and Dixon Family YMCA have cosponsored this new aspect of the Kids Run in conjunction with The GO FAR RUN program.

Recent running records. We’ve seen some milestones in Dixon running history since the RR5k was started, coincidence? Not too long ago we had the first ever Cross County State Champ or at least the first I recollect. And this past track season we had a DHS record set in the girls 4×400 relay event. Congratulations to both and we hope the running bug may have bit at the RR5k and if not we sure hope you’ll join in on our fun event too.

CORPORATE CHALLENGE – We created an event within an event to inspire community business participation, camaraderie and fitness while still challenging the competitive teams to meet head on, mano a mano or in this case foot to foot. Local companies are encouraged to have 5 of their employees’ team up and match their combined race times with all the other Corporate Challengers. It’s a friendly competition but I’ve noticed some serious contenders always eyeing last year’s crown holder.

CHARITABLE BENEFACTORS – From the original two organizations, Dixon Boosters Club and Dixon Main Street we have now added YMCA, Men’s Garden Club, Dixon Police Association, Reagan Boyhood Home, Dixon Park District and The City of Dixon. All proceeds go to the various charities or to direct expenses and those are held down dramatically by a very generous community of in kind sponsors. Glad to do it and pass it on.

ORGANIZATION – The core group of volunteers is similar but none of this happens without many, many volunteers and groups. The help of Dixon Booster, Dixon Main Street, Dixon Park District, Dixon Family YMCA, Dixon Police, City of Dixon, and oh so many of our sponsors’ people all help. Different sports teams pitch in, cheerleaders help out, truly a community effort. Thank you all.

SPONSORS – The same original three hold us up as our pillars; The Telegraph, KSB and PLN Insurance Co. This year’s logo sponsors are Ken Nelson, YMCA, Subway, AgPerspective, Boss Carpet, Culver’s, Slain Construction, Bonnell Truck Equip, Dixon Autobody, Mama Cimino, Community State Bank, Edward Jones, ACE, Dixon Ford, Kohl’s, US Bank, Supreme Cleaners, Hicks Insurance, Don Knight Electric, CliftonLarsonAllen, Industrial Repair Assistance, McDonalds, Dixon Petunia Festival and the National Guard. The full list of Special Thanks Supporters is on our entry blank also available at the Y, Dixon Park District or many of these sponsors locations.

Our original intent was to fill a void in the community’s summer festival with a family event that focused on physical fitness and healthful activity which would also give back to the community. With the help of so many we now have a fun and unique running event that does manage to give back. Thanks and let’s keep up the string of record participation, get registered and join in.  Go to or go to