Race for a Reason

All of these 5K runners are hitting the pavement for a reason. That reason could be anything from cancer support to fundraising for a local organization. Race for a Reason lets athletes choose a cause to support and then get out and compete. This year’s event is slated for Saturday, April 22.

Note: The Athens Messenger is partnering with organizers of the upcoming Race for a Reason to promote the many charities this event benefits through participants’ donations. The Athens Stars will be highlighted in upcoming editions.

Racing With the Athens Stars is going remote in 2021, as OhioHealth Race For A Reason finds a way to run forward amid the pandemic.

The virtual race, hosted by the Ohio University Sports Administration graduate program and Ohio University’s Valor military ministry, will be held between April 17-26, allowing participants to complete the race wherever they are located and at whatever time is convenient. Racers this year may not be running alongside the Athens Stars in person, but the six prominent figures from the Athens Community will be encouraging everyone forward in spirit.

The Athens Stars and what they are running for are:

  • Betsy Anderson, Women in Recovery – Women in Recovery
  • Jim Stickin, Steak & Shake – Alzheimer’s
  • Corry Corrigan, Ohio University Credit Union – Crewson Foundation
  • Jim Salzman, Southeast Ohio Youth Mentoring – Southeast Ohio Youth Mentoring
  • Dr. Lucy Bucher, OhioHealth O’Bleness Senior Director of Medical Affairs – OhioHealth O’Blenss Hospital Healthy Moms and Babies
  • Denise Humphry, Bobcat Swim Club – Bobcat Swim Club

The OhioHealth Race For A Reason began in 2012 and in non-COVID times consisted of a triathlon/duathlon, a 5K run, a “Mud Run,” a 3K walk, and a remote race for those unable to participate in Athens. This year, participants have the option to choose to do a triathlon, 3k walk, 5k run, or a 10k run – all remotely. The triathlon is up to the participants to organize for themselves at their leisure.

Race For A Reason averages 800 participants a year and has raised over $600,000 for nonprofits, charities and student organizations since its inception — thus making it the largest charitable race event in Southeast Ohio. The race asks participants “What’s Your Reason?” and allows each participant to run for a Reason meaningful to them.

A total of $10 of each participant’s race registration fee goes directly to the Reason of their choice, making it different than the majority of charity races that raise funds for one charity at a time.

“Our race you can choose whatever cause or reason that you are passionate about and then race for that reason,” Bill Hauschild, OhioHealth Race For A Reason director, said, saying that the Race is special as it allows racers to have a platform to promote their cause when they seek pledges.

The race, like everything else, had to be adapted for the pandemic. Thankfully a virtual race component had been utilized in the past by alumni who were unable to return to Athens. By expanding that towards almost everything, the race will be able to be held safely.

“Obvious everything is a lot more challenging in the virtual world but it’s coming along well,” Hauschild said.

Only one element will remain in-person, and even that won’t be open to the general public. According to Hauschild, the ROTC program at OU will be hosting an in-person 10k in an effort to reach alumni.

Registration is now open, and you can sign up at https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/Athens/OhioRaceForAReason. If any organizations want to put their name in as benefactor of the fundraiser, email ohioraceforareason@gmail.com.

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