Women host 6th annual Jack’s Run at Les Bolstad

Proceeds from the Saturday race will go to charity.

Drew Claussen

The level of competition at Saturday’s Jack’s Run will be low — but that doesn’t mean that the stakes aren’t high.

The race, which will take place at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Les Bolstad Golf Course, is open to the public, and proceeds will be split between two charities.

The race is named after Jack Johnson, the Gophers’ former equipment manager. Johnson died in February 2006 of cancer. Half the proceeds will go to the Jack Johnson Endowed Scholarship.

The other half of the proceeds will go to the Angel Foundation of Minnesota, which provides financial assistance to families struggling with cancer.

Most of the Gophers’ women’s team will participate in the event Saturday, with the exception of a select few.

“We have decided on our Big Ten team, [and] we’re not going to have a run off, so basically anyone who’s not running at the conference meet will be running on Saturday,” volunteer assistant coach Sarah Hesser said.

Hesser said Jack’s Run, along with Rocky’s Run, which will take place in early November, will be a stage for some of the runners to make a statement going into next season.

“We preach … that when you don’t make the conference meet it’s really difficult to stay focused these last couple weeks,” Hesser said. “So many of these guys that are racing here and then at Rocky’s will be in contention to be a Big Ten or a regional or a national kid next year or the year after.”

Hesser said it’s important for the athletes to give their full effort in the last two events so their bodies can get used to running hard this late in the season.

“It is different when you have to go an extra three or four weeks — your body needs to be used to that pattern,” Hesser said. “So that’s what we try to preach to them for this last month — just to keep your head in it, stay focused, keep working out hard, keep practicing hard and pretend that this is those big meets.”

Those who made the Big Ten team participated in a full week of practice, but their schedule next week will consist of mostly rest with a few workouts sprinkled in, Hesser said.

The Big Ten championships will take place Oct. 28 in East Lansing, Mich.