The Worth Park District has put the brakes on plans to hold a 5K run at Water’s Edge Golf Course.
“We thought it was in (the district’s) best interest to withdraw the request,” Park District Director Carlo Capalbo said.
The park district vetoed the proposed September run last Wednesday, one day after the Worth Village Board held an extensive debate on the plan.
At that meeting, trustees Tedd Muersch Jr. and Mary Rhein voiced strong opposition to a 5K run to be held at the village-owned golf course on Sept. 14.
The park district proposed the early morning run as part of the village’s centennial celebration after the Centennial Commission pitched the idea in December, Capalbo said.
Muersch and Rhein said the course would lose significant amount of money if it was closed on a Sunday morning to accommodate the run. Rhein said some golfers are on the course before 6 a.m. on Sundays, and closing the facility for a run would cost the village thousands of dollars.
“I didn’t think it was a good idea,” said Muersch, who added that a golf event would have been a better idea than a run.
“Marketing [the golf course] to runners doesn’t make sense to me,” he said.
Mayor Mary Werner voiced support for the event, saying it would promote the both the golf course and its restaurant, the Edge.
Capalbo said the time was not right for the park district to oversee the run, especially because the district sponsors other events in the fall, including Fall Fest and the haunted house.
Additionally, the park district has assumed control of the annual Worth Days celebration, a festival previously run by the village. The district is expected to finalize an agreement with the village to assume control of annual festival at its March 19 board meeting, Capalbo said.
“It just seems there were a lot of questions associated with it,” Capalbo said.
He added that the park district would prefer to sponsor an annual 5K run rather than a one-time event.
“If we’re going to move into this, we’d want it to be a continual thing,” he said. “We’re not going to say we’re done with having a 5K in this town. It could always happen in the future.”
Capalbo said sponsoring a run would require extensive planning and marketing, including a route that would not have minimal impact on the village’s major intersections.