In solid snow, slippery slush or simmering sun, the people of Clinton will run, run, run!

Yes, for four decades no matter the weather, Clinton Community College’s annual B-rrry Scurry 4-Mile Run has endured—even through a worldwide pandemic. Held the first weekend in February, nothing has stopped the “best little race in the Midwest” from carrying on the important tradition of raising scholarship money for CCC students. With 2021 marking 40 years, when organizers realized they’d have to adapt the race or cancel, they did what they’ve always done—adapt.

“The 2021 40th Anniversary is unlike any B-rrry Scurry we have hosted,” said Race Director Ann Eisenman. “When consideration for our 40th Anniversary began years ago, we purchased 2021 dated medals and did begin planning to invite past winners to return.”

Though COVID-19 altered plans to host 800 runners in-person, the race committee did stick with their original idea to invite back past winners. On race day, a total of 40 past winners and sponsor representatives showed their CCC pride by running the flat, fast route through the historic neighborhoods of Clinton. Meanwhile, virtual runners and walkers from Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa all took part from afar by running their own four-mile courses.

“Each year, we hear about people who commit to good health by training for the B-rrry Scurry, and each day we hear from students whose lives have been changed by the encouragement and financial support a scholarship provides,” Eisenman said.

The first B-rrry Scurry took place on February 4, 1981, with temps warming from a low of -19 to -4 by start time. The idea of Dr. Mark Schroeder, CCC’s Assistant to the President at the time, the race date was chosen because there were no open dates to hold a race in the warmer months.

“A number of CCC staff, students and community members enjoyed jogging on a regular basis,” Schroeder wrote in a letter about the origin of the event. “We were on a run one day and I came up with the idea of a winter run sponsored by the college, and the President said ‘go for it,’”

So, Schroeder did. The first thing on his list? Come up with a catchy name and logo.

“I went to the CCC library and came up with B-rrry Scurry as the name for the race. I then asked the Sullivan family to create a logo, slogan and a t-shirt. They came up with the B-rrry Bear and something like ‘the Cold Lost’ for a slogan,” he wrote.

bear mascots dancing on white background

Decades later, B-rrronda joined B-rrry Bear, and the two have been a regular fixture on the race route ever since—cheering on runners with their lively spirits. The pair are one of the many reasons people come back year after year. “Participants know that we offer a festive atmosphere,” said Eisenman.

“We start the race on time, provide accurate results on our USTAF certified course, and award medals in 15 age groups including below 14 and 80 and above. My goal is to still compete in races at age 80 and beyond! Plus, our post-race party is legendary.”

Best of all, runners know their participation is giving students the opportunity to attend college and realize their dreams. A total of 162 students have received B-rrry Scurry Scholarships.

“We have the opportunity to be life changing as people learn a new trade, train for a new career, or enhance their own knowledge as lifelong learners. How fortunate we are to be a catalyst in people’s lives,” Eisenman said.