ROCKINGHAM – Looking for a competitive footrace or a family fun run? How about a chance to just take a stroll to support a good cause?
If so, the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Foundation and Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham have the answer: the annual Run for the Ribbons 5K and 1-mile Family Fun Run, set for Saturday morning, April 14, 2018, in downtown Rockingham.
“This event has grown every year, and the whole community gets involved,” said Cindy Goodman, chair of the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Foundation, co-sponsor of the event with Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham. “It doubled in size last year — to 520 runners and walkers, plus residents lined the streets and sat along the route to cheer participants. It’s a lot of fun.”
Participants have two options, both starting in downtown Rockingham at Discovery Place Kids, 233 Washington St. The 5K trail is more challenging and includes a scenic trail run along Hitchcock Creek. The one-mile walk/run is along streets downtown.
A huge amount of support for the race every year comes from challenges between area schools.
“Last year, 300 students, teachers and families from different schools created teams,” said Katie Rohleder with Discovery Place Kids. “And often, donors sponsor an entire classroom, so no one misses out.”
To encourage schools to participate, race organizers offer a discounted admission fee. Funds raised support programs focused on healthy lifestyles, including fitness, healthy eating and education. Every race participant gets a t-shirt, dowel with ribbons, a sponsor swag bag and admission that day into Discovery Place Kids.
“We couldn’t do this without our sponsors,” Goodman said. “We all want to get people — especially kids — excited about being active and healthy. And through this race, our goals align wonderfully.”
Over the past three years, participants have helped raise net proceeds of more than $45,000, which is shared between the Richmond Foundation and Discovery Place Kids.
“Our goal this year is to hit 550 participants and raise awareness of the health status of our community,” Goodman said.
“If you’re not a runner, come out to cheer the racers on,” Rohleder added. “We’ll have activities outside of Discovery Place, including a DJ, food and ice cream.”
Even if you can’t come to the event, organizers say you can help the cause by purchasing tickets for the 50/50 raffle. This drawing will be after the race, and you don’t have to be present to win. They can be purchased at the Moore Regional Hospital-Richmond gift shop, Discovery Place Kids or by calling 910-695-7500.
“The point of the entire day is to get active and have fun while we support the community,” Rohleder says. “It will be a great time.”
Registration is now open for the race. Visit the website, www.ribbons5k.com, for details.