formed under the direction of Dr. Jim Parker in the
early 1980s with the mission of creating an event
that not only allowed runners to share their love of
the sport, but also promoted the health of the
community. What began with boom boxes along the race
route has blossomed into the "parade in reverse"
that treats walkers to tasty snacks from local
restaurants and a variety of entertainment.
The Mt. Shasta hospital, first as Eskaton and
then as Mercy Medical Center, has been a major sponsor since the first race. The
hospital's support helped the event become profitable early on. The event has
grown from the 250 participants in the first year to more than 5,000 registered
entrants for several years. As the event grew Mountain Runners was able to
invest in beautification projects, a vision of Dr. Parker's. Downtown
improvements began with planting trees, which now number over 350, and other
major improvements include lights in downtown trees, old fashioned street lamps,
mini parks, a town clock, substantial support of the City Hall Plaza, providing
for landscaping in the Lake Street medians and the addition of benches and trash
receptacles downtown. Through the history of the event,95 percent of proceeds
have gone to community beautification efforts.
Thousands of people enjoy Mt. Shasta's Fourth
of July event, especially during the annual Run/Walk when people get to visit
while enjoying a pleasant walk — not to mention entertainment and goodies.
Mountain Runners spends nearly a year preparing for the morning event, while the
community reaps rewards from the group's generosity year round. This year
Mountain Runners' team of volunteers will put on the 32th Run/Walk with the help
of over 600 volunteers.
gives money to South County youth sports groups
every year, and has helped area elementary schools
build their track and cross country running programs
through donations. Those athletic youngsters give
back to the organization by volunteering, with
around 100 high school, junior high and elementary
school kids coming out to help. Mt. Shasta High
School's cross country team has helped at the event
since the team's inception.
The Mt. Shasta
co-ed soccer team, wrestling team, Weed Elementary
school athletes, McCloud students and a group from
Etna are among the youth groups working at this
year's event, said Dusty Miller, Mountain Runners'
board president and former MSHS cross country coach.
"A lot of these groups are trying to instill a
sense of giving back to the community and to Mountain Runners, "Dusty said.
"Some of my kids [former athletes] who have graduated high school have come back
to do the event and have a real sense of ownership."
Pride in the community draws so many
volunteers, said Marcia Smith of Mountain Runner's executive committee. A number
of residents have volunteered since the event started, and many more have been
constant helpers year after year. With the work of Mountain Runners so visible
in the community it's easy to come back, she said.
"It's just really gratifying to see what we've
done in the community over the years with this event," Marcia said. "It's really
nice to see the support of the community, you know that you're not alone."
Support comes not only from volunteers, but also from the City of Mt. Shasta,
the Chamber of Commerce, and Highway Patrol that work to make the event
successful. Mountain Runners also has a long list of corporate sponsors ranging
from grocery stores and medical centers to auto dealerships and communications
Some of this information was reprinted courtesy of
Mt. Shasta Herald.
Where does the Money
Mountain Runners also supports the youth in
the community by giving money to athletic teams and school projects. Funds have
purchased uniforms, helped build a school fitness course in Dunsmuir and
supported the growth of track and cross country teams along with many other
Below is the list
of projects Mountain Runners has been involved in
and has funded over the last 15 to 20 years with the
proceeds from the Mt Shasta July 4th Walk/Run.
• Acquisition and
development of Parker
Plaza on Mt. Shasta Blvd.
• West Castle Street
Trees – Maple, Aspen and Liquidambar trees.
• East Castle Street Trees and Planters.
• 354 Trees on Mt Shasta Blvd.
• Lights in trees on Mt Shasta Blvd.
• Benches and planter boxes on Mt Shasta Blvd.
• Planning money for proposed Lake Siskiyou Trail
• Mini-park and kiosk on Mt Shasta Blvd.
• 33 Classical Street Lamps on Mt Shasta Blvd.
• Downtown Sound System
• Downtown Street clock
• Benches and Trash receptacles downtown on Mt
Shasta Blvd and Chestnut St.
• Lake St. median strip landscaping
• Mt Shasta City Hall Plaza
• Beautiful Downtown Hanging Flower Baskets
• Downtown Thermometer
• Sisson Meadows restoration
• Industrial lighting (LED) in downtown trees
• Snowmobile for Nordic Ski Track
• Mt Shasta Skate Board Park
• Mt Shasta Ice Rink
• North Mt Shasta Blvd Triangle
• New industrial lighting in downtown trees on Mt