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Ellisville hosts bigger, better Cop Trot to benefit BackStoppers

Officer Jake Adams ran the race in full gear. [Photo courtesy of Sgt. Nancy Walker]

Ellisville is getting a running start on spring with its second annual Cop Trot on April 22.

Hosted by the Ellisville Police Department, the inaugural Cop Trot 5K was held in 2016 and raised about $2,590 for the Children’s Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis. Detective Brian Gillaspie hopes it will remain an annual event and has taken steps to make it bigger and better, bumping up the run to a 7K and adding a mix of kid-friendly activities.

Proceeds from the 2017 race will go to The BackStoppers Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial aid to spouses and dependent children of police officers, firefighters and publicly-funded paramedics and EMTs, who have lost their lives or been injured in the line of duty.

“We arrived at BackStoppers, Inc. because of all the violence against police in 2016, even right here in our own metropolitan area,” Gillaspie said. “We had the [Michael] Flamion shooting, and the St. Louis County officer that was killed. We thought what better way than to try to support an organization that supports us in the darkest hours.”

According to Gillaspie, the event does not have a specific fundraising goal, but organizers hope to have upwards of 200 participants.

“It’s a great cause and the money goes towards helping and organization that helps us out, so we are happy to do that,” Gillaspie said.

At the 2016 Cop Trot [from left] Officer Chuck Kraus, Officer John Rakonick, Lt. Jeff Diehl, Officer Ryan Schneider, Officer Jake Adams, Corporal Brian Bardle and Officer Joey Nickles  [Photo courtesy of Sgt. Nancy Walker]

Last year, about 150 attendees participated, including officer Jake Adams who ran the race in full uniform and another police officer who traveled all the way from Iowa.

“We absolutely encourage our guys, and police officers from anywhere, to come if they want and participate if they’d like to,” Gillaspie said.

The run will start and end in Bluebird Park, and participants of all fitness levels are welcome. Awards will be given out to the top male and female finishers, as well as the top finishers in each age category. The course will run through local neighborhoods in Ellisville and Ballwin, and participants are encouraged to move at their own pace.

Check-in is from 7-7:45 a.m. on the day of the race, with an 8 a.m. official start. The registration fee is $30 in advance [before April 19] and $35 on race day. Advance registration can be submitted and paid at the city’s Park Administration Building, located off Kiefer Creek Road.

Immediately following the 7K run is the 1-Mile Kids Run, which is a free event on a different course that kids can register for on the day of the event.

Ronald McDonald gives a safety presentation at Kids Day 2016. During Cop Trot 2017, he’ll be performing a magic show at the Ellisville McDonald’s. [Photo courtesy of Sgt. Nancy Walker]

For the first time, Banducci Enterprises, Inc. – McDonald’s also will be sponsoring the Cop Trot and have additional family-friendly events running in conjunction with the event. A section of the Ellisville McDonald’s parking lot, located at the intersection of Clarkson and Manchester, will be blocked off for kids to participate in a bicycle obstacle course and bicycle safety workshop manned by the city’s police department. In addition, the police department will offer free helmet fittings for kids, and Ronald McDonald will make an appearance and perform magic for attendees. The events will run alongside the 7K, and are open to all residents and race participants. McDonald’s will also have a booth present at the Cop Trot to hand out coupons for discounts.

Additionally, the police department will offer free helmet fittings for kids and Ronald McDonald will make an appearance and perform magic for attendees. The events are open to all residents and race participants. McDonald’s also will have a booth present at the Cop Trot to hand out coupons for discounts.

“Ray Kroc always believed in giving back to the community. That’s something that’s existed since the beginning of McDonald’s,” Michelle Banducci, owner and operator of Banducci Enterprises, Inc. – McDonald’s, said.

The on-location events at the restaurant are open-ended, to allow equal participation opportunity for race participants and local families.

“It’s not just for the participants, but also for any local Ellisville residents and their kids to come in and take advantage of the obstacle course and safety program,” Julie Goddard, marketing manager with Banducci Enterprises, Inc. – McDonald’s said. “It’s just going to be a really nice all-day event.”

 

 

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