A family affair: Jester Jog provides an opportunity for everyone | TahoeDailyTribune.com

A family affair: Jester Jog provides an opportunity for everyone

Maggie O'Neill

CARSON CITY – Come one, come all to the Ninth annual Jester Jog sponsored by the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada and scheduled to begin 9 a.m. Saturday at the Piñon Plaza Hotel Casino.

The only member that needs to be left at home is the family dog.

But there’ll be enough to keep the family entertained without noticing the pets are at home. The quarter-mile fun run for children 6 and under begins exactly at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of the Piñon Plaza. The fun run takes between 15 and 20 minutes and when it’s done the participants in the two-mile walk/run and the 10K take off.

“The 10K run, that’s the competitive run because we see a lot of (people) training for marathons,” said Children’s Museum Director Erin Lehman. “Competitive runners come out for that. It’s pretty amazing to watch.”

The course for the two-mile walk/run and the 10K run heads west on Highway 50 and turns south on Saliman Road, before hitting their turning points. The run occurs on the sidewalks.

“This is a fundraiser we really enjoy because it promotes doing things with your family and that ties in with what we’re about here at the museum,” Lehman said.

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About 90 people have pre-registered at a cost of $30, but children 13 and under cost $10, no matter the portion of the Jester Jog they do. Registration can also be done online at http://www.active.com, where the race results will later be posted. Those who want to register the day of the race at $30 or $10 can do so starting at 8 a.m. in the Piñon Plaza Banquet Room.

Each participant will receive a race T-shirt and a raffle ticket for the awards ceremony, which should start around 11 a.m. in the banquet room. Tickets will be drawn for gifts baskets, dinner certificates, including to Red’s 395 Grill, the Piñon Plaza Steakhouse and the Nugget Steakhouse, and for gift certificates, like to Starbucks and Sugar Pine Cove. Extra T-shirts will also be for sale.

Awards will be given to the top three competitors of each age group in the 10K and two-mile walk/run. All the children in the fun run walk receive a prize.

The Jester Jog is one of the museum’s largest fundraisers of the year and brings in about $8,000 to $10,000 – approximately a month’s worth of operating expenses. Other significant fundraisers for the children’s museum, which is just one of two in the state, include the Kids Carnival, Halloween Trick or Treat and Santa Day.

Fundraisers make up between 30 percent to 40 percent of the overall operation budget, estimated at about $120,000. Memberships, sponsorships and private donations help with the rest, and it’s grants that fund new exhibits and renovations to the building.

“(The children’s museum) is a gem,” said Lehman. “I love this place. I think there’s a lot of people in Carson City who just don’t know that it’s here.”

About 200 people sign up for the Jester Jog each year, but much of the actual participation is weather dependent. Last year only about 150 people showed up because of the cold. Lehman says the 10K is a good opportunity to train for the Escape from Prison Hill half-marathon, which is scheduled for April 29 and sponsored by the Sagebrush Stompers and Tahoe Mountain Milers

If you go

WHAT: The Jester Jog quarter-mile fun run, two-mile walk/run and 10K, sponsored by the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada

WHEN: 9 a.m. Saturday, come at 8 a.m. to register the day of the event

WHERE: Starts from the Piñon Plaza Hotel Casino, registration and awards in the banquet room

CALL: Erin Lehman at the children’s museum at (775) 884-2226. Register online at http://www.active.com