Registration is open for the Tyler Vanderheiden Memorial Run, an annual race aimed at raising awareness and understanding of mental health that also acts as a fundraiser for Nebraska Game and Parks state park trails.
The run is May 14, 2022, at Cody Park in North Platte. Participants may choose between a 2-mile or 5-mile distance and run it virtually.
This year, funds raised will help support the construction and upgrade of the Platte River State Park trail that leads to Stone Creek Falls. Improvements are aimed at making the trail Americans with Disabilities Act accessible.
“Tyler loved the outdoors, and we wanted to honor his memory by giving back to what he loved while also raising awareness of mental health, a significant public health concern right here in Nebraska and across the country,” said Shannon Vanderheiden, executive director of West Central District Health Department and Tyler’s mom. “This run helps raise awareness that walking and running are effective tools in the battle for mental and emotional wellness and are vital to helping address mental health and suicide prevention.”
Race organizers have made it a goal to see runners from every Nebraska county and every state participate in-person or virtually in the race. The race on Cody Park’s flat course begins at 8:30 a.m. Central time, with race-day registration and packet pickup from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m.
Those choosing to do the run virtually must register by 4 p.m. Central time May 13 and may complete their race anytime between May 13-15.
The run is organized by the Platte River Fitness Series with support by West Central District Health Department. Proceeds are donated to the Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation for the creation, maintenance or upgrade of trails at the 76 state park areas.
“Our ability to maintain, improve and expand trails across the state are greatly enhanced when supportive donors, volunteers and public-private partnerships join our mission,” said Jim Swenson, Game and Parks deputy director. “We are honored that the Vanderheiden family chose us as a way to make a difference for all Nebraskans.”
To learn more about the trail project, visit OutdoorNebraska.org/MemorialRun.