Walkers, joggers, and runners participated in the Dodge City Days Shootout races early Saturday morning before the Dodge City Days Parade began. The first race was five kilometers long and the distance of the second was one mile.
Buc Bolmer, the head coach of the cross country team at Dodge City High School and the organizer of the races, estimated that between the two races, there was a total of between 350 to 400 participants.
Many of the Shootout runners were Dodge City residents, but there were also many from around southwest Kansas and around the state, as well as Dodge City Days tourists, and runners that travel for the sole purpose of competing in races, according to Bolmer.
One participant traveled from Manitoba, Canada in order to race and be a part of the Dodge City Days festivities, Bolmer said.
Patrick and Tammy Beebe and their young daughter Myranda, traveled all the way from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Tammy grew up in southwest Kansas and occasionally returns in order to visit her family and to enjoy the Kansas lifestyle of her childhood, she said.
This year, Tammy and her family came to visit Tammy’s sister, Susan Ridgway, and Susan’s family. Susan lives in the Dodge City area with her husband Ray and their three children Zachary, Anna, and Josiah.
In addition to riding horses and swimming together, all of the members of both families participated in the races on Saturday. Patrick, Tammy, and Myranda Beebe and Susan Ridgway ran in both races. The remaining members of the Ridgway family participated solely in the one mile race.
The Ridgways’ youngest son, Josiah, competed in the one mile race for the first time. “Josiah is finally old enough; now we can run as a family,” his father said.
Ray Ridgway volunteered to run with Josiah. “I’ll hang back with the young one. The rest will try to get their best times,” he said.
Other members of the families had their own plans for how they would approach the races.
Susan Ridgway made sure that a contingent of her friends and family would be there to support her. “It is important to have a cheering section, she said. “Strategic placing of the family along the route is important in order to finish.”
Having family members along the route helps to motivate her because she does not want to embarrass herself or let them down by quitting, Susan said.
Susan Ridgway has participated in several races in various places around the state, but doesn’t consider herself to be the runner of the family. “The jogger is more like it,” she said. Susan jogs because the exercise makes her feel better. “It is like therapy,” she said, “I turn on some music and go.”
Page 2 of 2 - Zachary Ridgway’s main goal for the race was to outpace two of his friends that were also participating in the race.
Ray Ridgway was focused on how he would spend the rest of the day. “It’s naptime after this,” he said.
Tammy Beebe said that she and her daughter run with the objective of finishing, but Patrick participates in the races in order to try to win.
Patrick disagreed with his wife’s assertion and said that winning was not his main objective. “I am too old for that,” he said. “I am here to cheer on my daughter and have a good time, not to make good time.”
Both Patrick and Tammy Beebe are experienced runners who have competed in Ironman competitions in the past, Ray Ridgway, their brother-in-law, said.
In total, the Beebes and the Ridgways garnered a total of nine medals, according to Tammy Beebe’s tally.
There were first, second, and third place medal winners from both families. Josiah Ridgway received a participation medal for being one of the youngest runners in the whole event.
Patrick Beebe placed first in his age group in each race. His daughter’s two second place finishes gave him more pride than his own finishes, though. “I am proud of her today, especially since she fell down and got back up and kept running. It’s all about her,” he said.
The Beebes and the Ridgways all enjoyed participating in the races, regardless of how they finished or if the earned a medal, they said.
“It was a lot of fun to do it all together,” Tammy Beebe said.
Susan Ridgway agreed with her sister. “It was a great day for a race. We’ll have to do it again next year.”