Toledo Roadrunners promotes running and joggingWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Dave Kubacki
While many may think of Wile E. Coyote when they hear the name Roadrunner, in Toledo, Roadrunners have a different association and mission.
Founded in 1976, the Toledo Roadrunners (TRRC) is a nonprofit club whose purpose is to educate its members and the community about physical fitness and health through the promotion of running, physical fitness and other health-related events. According to the club’s President Kevin O’Connor, TRRC is open to anyone with an interest in jogging and/or running, regardless of age or ability.
“I really don’t have much of an athletic prowess,” O’Connor said. “It’s something I started doing because I wanted to say in shape and this seemed like a good way to do it.”
For TRRC Vice President Chris Cunningham, it was a natural progression to join the Roadrunners.
“I started running only in 2008,” Cunningham said. “My kids joined a CYO cross country team and I told them I would run with them. That turned into me coaching them. Shortly after that, I did my first Roadrunners race with some of the other coaches and the team. In 2009, I became a member and started doing more of their races.”
The Roadrunners, which has close to 1,300 members, puts on about 25-30 events each year, culminating with the Glass City Marathon. Usually occurring in late April, this year’s Glass City Marathon had more than 6,500 participants between all the different events. Cunningham said these events serve both pillars of the club’s mission.
“One of our focuses is to promote running, walking, jogging and health-related activities,” Cunningham said. “Where the club has also really evolved is the huge amount of fundraising we also do for charities. When we are able to bring in money from an event like the Glass City Marathon, we are then able to sit down and figure out whom to give that money to. It’s something we are very fortunate to be able to do.”
O’Connor said these events are also great opportunities to showcase the great things about the Toledo community.
“We have been drawing participants from several states and bringing them into the city,” O’Connor said. “We are promoting a fit and healthy city which is good for quality of life and we are also providing an avenue for the community to get together to do charitable work.”
TRRC’s charitable contributions don’t end with fundraising for specific charities. The Roadrunners also have a scholarship program and a grant program. The club awards the scholarship to a member who has demonstrated the spirit of the club. O’Connor said the grant program is relatively new and still being developed.
“The grants will be given to fitness-related programs, whether it’s a school request or for an event,” O’Connor said. “This is a relatively new program so it doesn’t have a lot of history but we are hoping it gets more legs because we would like to help the community in that respect.”
TRRC’s next big event is the Women’s Distance Festival, which takes place Aug. 3 at the Shops at Fallen Timbers. There will be a 5k walk/run, a 1-mile walk and a 100-yard dash in high heels. The club is also in the process of putting together a half marathon with the hope that it will be the club’s signature fall event. Cunningham said he believes the Roadrunners and local running shops are great ways for the community to get involved.
“The Roadrunners is a great way to meet people with similar fitness interests” Cunningham said. “You’ll meet other runners or maybe get involved with a group of runners. If you aren’t running right now, working at one of the running stops or the finish line of a race is a great way to get involved. Dave’s Running Shop and Second Sole in Perrysburg also have very active running groups. Dave’s has Metropark Mondays while Second Sole has Thursday evening runs. These are all great ways to get involved.”