Wild 5K

Event Date

Sat, Jul 26, 2014


Jamestown, NY

About This Activity

She sits serenely, gazing down with intent eyes on the school-aged children searching the enclosure for her. The collective gasp when they finally spot her on her high perch is enough to pull the youthful wonder out of anyone. “This is Liberty,” explains an Audubon naturalist, “she is an American Bald Eagle who came to us in 2002, all the way from Washington State”. Everyone listens intently as Liberty’s story is told, even she likes to hear the tale—she pipes up with a few notes of her own, perhaps correcting a detail or two, much to the delight of her observers.

In the spring and summer months, this scene is nearly a daily occurrence as hundreds of classes, kindergarten through fifth grade, come to the Audubon Center & Sanctuary for Discovery Walks. Then of course, in the summer, kids who attend Day Camps get to meet her. In the fall and winter, she is still there, astonishing passersby by braving all sorts of weather without showing much concern.

Liberty is considered non-releasable because of an injury to her left wing. This old wound, despite attempts at rehabilitation, prevents her from flying well enough to hunt in the wild. She will spend the rest of her life here at Audubon, the charge of a handful of very dedicated volunteers. Liberty has long been a favorite at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary. People of all ages have visited her, donated fish to feed her, and even signed up to help fund her care for a year. This year, you have yet another opportunity to help support our feathered celebrity—and it’s just what the doctor ordered, some fresh air and exercise! The Audubon Center & Sanctuary will host the Wild 5K on July 26th. Back by popular demand, this trail run/walk has historically attracted out-door enthusiasts of all ages and levels of running experience. You may remember when the race was called the “Run for Liberty”.

The race still winds through a beautiful wetland sanctuary. Over bridges and through fields, you will find yourself enjoying a variety of settings—cool, forested trails; bright, cricket-filled meadows; cattail-adorned pond edges; even a garden path. A few wild spectators may even be along the trail to cheer you on. Audubon’s well-maintained trails offer a unique racing atmosphere that will both challenge and inspire.

Of course, if running isn’t your forte, there are other ways to be a part of this exciting event. While we will certainly accept runners’ registrations up through 9:45am on race day, we are also currently looking for walkers, volunteers, and sponsors. We want to involve as many people as possible in Liberty’s success story. We had over 130 runners and walkers participate in this event when it was known as the “Run/Walk for Liberty” and we will need the help of more than 50 volunteers to make the race run smoothly on Saturday. No matter what you are most comfortable with, your help will make our revived Wild 5K successful! Audubon is even teaming up with Distinguished Young Women candidates to offer special, nature-themed events for children age 10 and under during the hours of the race.

A small race committee has been working hard since February to make sure that everyone involved has a memorable experience. Audubon staff has joined forces with local individuals including Jeff Rupp, David Hedberg, and Ellen Paquette to bring the event back this year. Rupp, owner of Sideline Sports in Jamestown, NY, has generously donated prizes for the overall finishers in the running category as well as copious amounts of time advertising and co-coordinating the event. Hedberg, also of Jamestown, was recently named co-recipient of the State Association’s Official of the Year award (Southwestern Chapter) and has kindly agreed to map the course and coordinate the finish line. Paquette, of Warren, PA, is a renowned local artist who serves on the Jamestown Audubon’s Board of Directors; she has also graciously contributed her time and creative expertise to the coordination process.

But it’s not too late to get involved! Liberty’s care costs approximately $7,500 per year, supporting us in our Wild 5K is a great way to help us offset that total and it will allow Liberty to continue to thrill the children (and adults) that visit her here regularly. Please consider investing in Liberty’s future with us this year as we bring back this unique race!

Let’s go Wild!

Event schedule and times


Enjoy the natural beauty of the Sanctuary while helping to raise funds for the care of our non-releasable resident Bald Eagle, “Liberty.” Stay after your run/walk to visit with “Liberty” and tour the exhibits throughout the Center.


Check-in and same-day registration will be at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary, 1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, N.Y., from 8:00am-9:45am. Race starts at 10:00am. Special children’s events (free) will take place during the race and will be facilitated by Distinguished Young Women Contestants.


$20, $25 if registering after Thursday, July 17. A special discount of 10% will be extended to members, prices $18 and $22.50 respectively. Please fill out and return the form below with a check payable to Jamestown Audubon Society, Inc.


Short-sleeved T-shirts will be awarded to all pre-registered (before July 17) participants. Prizes will be awarded to the first overall male and female finisher in the run category. Age group awards will be given to the top three finishers in each division for both the runners and walkers.


Runners: 12 and under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+

Walkers: 25 and under; 26-55, 56+

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