Niles Burn Run breaks record

Published 4:42 pm Monday, July 15, 2013

A rider totes an American Flag during the Niles Burn Run Sunday in downtown Niles. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

A rider totes an American Flag during the Niles Burn Run Sunday in downtown Niles. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

The Niles Burn Run set another record for participation.

The annual motorcycle ride attracted 701 motorcycles Sunday, blowing away last year’s previous record of 480 motorcycles.

Scott Roberts, Niles Burn Run president, attributed the growth to several factors, including good weather, timing, more money spent on marketing and an unexpected boost in media coverage gained when the Burn Run’s trailer was stolen a few weeks before the event.

“I’d like to take that black cloud and say that was the silver lining,” Roberts said. “Everything just went really well, so I’d like to thank everyone that came out to support the event.”

Proceeds from the Niles Burn Run, which took place Saturday and Sunday in downtown Niles, go to the Great Lakes Burn Camp, a place where young burn victims can go to heal, grow and support other burn survivors. It costs $600 to send one kid to camp.

Roberts said the group would announce how much money was raised when it delivers the check to the Great Lakes Burn Camp in Jackson Aug. 10. Last year, the event raised $20,000.

Roberts said details on how the check will be delivered would be released soon.

“The ride up to the camp has gotten so large we will have to do things differently this year,” he said.

More than 100 people volunteered to help run the Niles Burn Run over the course of the weekend. Roberts thanked the volunteers, sponsors, participants and the City of Niles for their support.

Niles allowed the Niles Burn Run to use the former Gallery building for motorcycle registration in addition to blocking Main Street in downtown all weekend for the festival.

Organizers moved the Niles Burn Run from the third Sunday in July to the second Sunday in July this year to avoid the Muskegon Bike Time and the Indiana Boogie. Both are large motorcycle events taking place the third weekend of July.

The Niles Burn Run did run up against the Berrien County Riders annual MDA ride Sunday. Roberts said the group didn’t realize both rides were on the same day until it was too late to change the date.