“It’s quickly becoming one of our most important traditions”, says Kansas Shrine Bowl Executive Director Emeritus Dave Mize. “It’s an opportunity for athletes who compete in a sport that’s not as high profile as football to get some well-deserved recognition, while at the same time affording them the chance to compete against runners from all over Kansas.”
Younger says the western Kansas runners enjoy running against runners from much larger 5A and 6A schools. “Unless a runner is fortunate enough to run in the KU relays or some other large event, they don’t get a chance to ‘run with the big boys’. They’re really excited about that.”
The end of the race will not only be viewed by the fans in the stands at ESU, but also by a statewide television audience that can view the game on Cox Cable’s Kansas 22. The end of the race will be part of the pregame broadcast on Cox 22.
Younger says this year’s runners will report a day earlier than in previous years. Coaches and runners will come to Emporia on Thursday, July 26th, to begin preparations for this year’s run. “We’ll have the extra day to get to know each other”, he says
At the same time (and on the same course) as the cross country meet, a two-mile charity Open Two Mile Race will be conducted, which is open to public. The cost is $30 per person, plus a $2.50 signup fee. Online registration will be open through Friday, July 27th. There will be 13 aged-based catagories for both males and females, and like the cross-country runners, early finishers will be on TV. “It’s an additional fund raiser for the Shrine Bowl”, says Mize. “And it gives runners a chance to compete in a unique setting.” Anyone interested in participating in the Open Two Mile Race can sign up by clicking on “Run Sign Up” on the Kansas Shrine Bowl’s home page (www.kansasshrinebowl.com).
All Shrine Bowl events are produced and presented to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children [SHC]. SHC is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to the age of 18 are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients' ability to pay. The 39th annual Kansas Shrine Bowl will be played Saturday, July 28th, 2012, in Emporia, Kansas, at Welch Stadium on the Emporia State University campus. Kickoff will be at 7:00 pm. Tickets and additional information are available at www.kansasshrinebowl.com or by calling 800-530-5524.