East Fork ‘River Run’ returns for 10th year


The annual “Thanksgiving River Run” celebrated its 10th anniversary this year as the event netted 175 pounds of food and more than $200 in donations during the no-registration cost run along the banks of the East Fork Lewis River. 

Beginning at the Hantwick trailhead, the run featured 5K and 10K outings. Although the run didn’t involve a registration fee, participants were asked to donate to the North County Community Food Bank, giving $229 to the organization, according to an email from event organizer Elba Benzler.

Benzler, the executive director of training gym and marathon planner Get Bold Events, said he first invited friends to run from the trailhead to the Moulton Falls bridge and back in 2012. Given a response that exceeded his expectations, he thought of making it a regular event with specific run lengths.

The following year he gave the run its name, “Thanksgiving Fun Run,” and made a social media page to promote it. That year 50 people showed up and donated 50 pounds of food, he said in the email.

“As the years went on this event kept growing and so did the donations,” Benzler said. 

The biggest turnout was in 2018, he said, where 125 participants donated 300 pounds of food and about $85.

“I enjoy putting this on and so do many people in our community,” Benzler said in the email. “This has become an annual tradition for so many in our community and beyond.”