Registration for the 10th annual Point Bock Run filled its 2,145-person capacity in just four days. Event participants congregated at the starting line just before noon on Saturday in preparation to traverse a five-mile course starting at the Point Brewery, crossing the Wisconsin River on County Road HH and ending back at the Point Brewery. Proceeds from the event were donated to the Casey Davis Benefit Fund.
Casey Davis had run the Point Bock run the last four years. A 2002 University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point College of Natural Resources graduate and Stevens Point resident since 1998, Davis was in a tragic work accident in September 2011, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Davis was able to complete the Point Bock Run after an intense three-month long rehabilitation program.
Traditionally the Point Bock Run coincides with the release of Point Bock Beer. This year Three Kings Ale was released instead. An event ran and organized by the Stevens Point and Portage County running community through an incorporated, non-profit organization. The Point Bock Run, now in its tenth year, is an event turned tradition.
The event began its existence with a little over 200 runners participating in its original form in 1982. After discontinuing in the early 1990s the Point Bock Run was started again in March of 2003 by the Stevens Point and Portage County running community. Now, the Point Bock Run is turning people away, reaching course capacity at about 2,150 participants.
This year 110 volunteers helped to make the event run smoothly. “A lot of our volunteers have been here all ten years because we have such a fun time.” said Nichole Becker, an event organizer and volunteer coordinator.
Bill DeVita, one of the founding runners of the existing Point Bock Run, is also the manager of the Water and Environmental Analysis Laboratory (WEAL) at UWSP. “I've been doing this for ten years and this is the first year I have gotten to run.” DeVita said.
DeVita was accompanied on the run by several of his student workers all wearing custom “Team WEAL” t-shirts with a picture of DeVita on the front.
“It was cold, it was tough, it was a lot of fun though,” said Colin Drake, junior at UWSP. “I came here last year afterwards just to see it and it was a lot of fun, so I decided to run this year. It's a fun race,” Drake said.
The day started out with three inches of snow on the course, which was easily dispersed by race organizers and the city of Stevens Point.
“There have been years past where it has been a little bit warmer, but honestly the cold is not too bad – it cools you down pretty good,” said Kurt White, UWSP alumni and fourth year veteran of the Point Bock Run.
The men’s division was won by Joe Sepe of Madison with a time of 25:32 and the women’s division won by Breeda Willis, the current women’s course record holder, with a time of 28:26. The men’s course record holder Ryan Meissen was present, taking second with a time of 26:07.