The Festival of Trails McIntosh/Mathiesen/Niemeyer 5K Run/Walk has been part of the Celebration’s Saturday morning lineup of activities for many years. It’s a family-friendly event where competitive runners can challenge themselves to record a personal-best time, while others enjoy a more leisurely stroll through the streets of La Porte City. The course begins and ends on the Union High School track. In between, it proceeds through the streets of La Porte City over partially shaded, mostly flat terrain.
This year’s race will take place on Saturday, June 17 at 8 AM. All participants who pre-register by June 11, 2017 will receive a commemorative t-shirt. Registrations on the day of the event will be accepted beginning at 7 AM, though t-shirts will not be available for those who join the race at that time. Cost for the event is $20 for those who pre-register, $25 for those who register after the June 11 deadline.
Proceeds from the event help fund a scholarship awarded to a Union High School student in honor of the three special Union High School educators for which the event is named.
Peggy McIntosh – McIntosh, a La Porte City High School graduate of the Class of 1971, went on to earn a degree at Wartburg College. She then returned to La Porte City, teaching physical education and health at the high school as part of a teaching career that spanned 28 years. “Miss Mac” as she was affectionately known, was the girls football and wrestling cheer coach for many years. Peggy was hired by Superintendent Harold Mott and was the first La Porte City graduate to be hired back as a teacher in the district. She loved her job of teaching kids and was passionate about learning, physical education, and health. Her laughter was contagious. On February 19, 2002, she passed away from ovarian cancer at the age of 49.
Bruce Mathiesen – Mathiesen was the Union High School band director from 1990-96, building a program that included 140 musicians at its peak. During his tenure at Union, the concert and jazz bands earned numerous Division I ratings and made five consecutive appearances at the Iowa Jazz Championships. On November 16, 1996, Mathiesen suffered a heart attack on a school bus while traveling to a performance at the Girls State Volleyball Championships. Despite the efforts of students and emergency personnel who performed CPR prior to airlifting Mathiesen to Covenant Medical Center, he was pronounced dead at the age of 37.
Craig Niemeyer – After graduating from Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) in 1964, Niemeyer came to La Porte City where he taught Math at the high school. He also coached football and basketball for 23 years. Chosen by the student body as the Teacher of the Year in 1993, Niemeyer suffered a heart attack and died on December 14, 1994 at the age of 55.
Registration forms for the McIntosh/Mathiesen/Niemeyer 5K Run/Walk are available at the following La Porte City locations: Casey’s General Store, Cedar Valley Bank & Trust, City Hall, Dollar General, Farmers State Bank, Gary’s Thriftway, Hawkins Memorial Library and La Porte City Printing & Design.