Celebrating Cottage Grove and running

Jonathan Stinnett, who loves all things Cottage Grove, wanted to share his appreciation of this city with more people. And as a runner, he thought that there would be no better way for people to enjoy this area than on foot. 

While  taking on the mindset of both a city promoter and runner, he started, with a group of friends, Run CG Run. The goal of the group is to get people in the city running, to have more local races and get maintain the trails. 

“We are trying to show off Cottage Grove and give off a positive view of it,” said Stinnett. “We love it here and we think that you will too.” 

While Eugene is known as TrackTown USA and a sanctuary for running, Stinnett points out that Cottage Grove also has nice trails and a history of running that dates back to Dyrol Burleson who is from here and went to the 1960 and 1964 Olympics in the 1500. 

With not only the history but also the future of running in mind, Stinnett figured that despite some trails and local races, the city had more to offer to its loyal runners. With that the group then took over the Gold Rush 5K that takes place on the Friday of Bohemia Mining Days. They also offer two other 5K’s, the Fools Rush that takes place on April 1st, the Jingle Bell run which takes place in December and a handful of other races throughout the year.

Jim Settelmeyer, the head cross-country coach at Cottage Grove High School and an individual who seems to know all runners in town, sees that this group is serving the need of the different groups of runners throughout the city. 

“There are some adults that have been running for a long time, fitness walking for a long time,” said Settelmeyer. “There’s always some group that is trying out that exercise as kind of a fitness fad thing and then there are all of the students in local schools that at least are open to looking at new adventures.” 

Settelmeyer sees that Run CG Run works to bring them altogether in a way that benefits everyone. The group uses its funds in a number of ways but it starts with trail maintenance. But it doesn’t stop there. The group also gives funds to the cross-country program for various meets where they stay places overnight to who can not afford a new pair of running shoes. 

“It’s a group that really helps directly impact kids' interest in running,” said Settelmeyer.