Thunder Run to be held in Forest Hill Park

Forest Hill Thunder Run 2012 will take place at 8 a.m., on Saturday, July 21 in Forest Hill Park. This year’s 5k run/walk will benefit FutureHeights, a nonprofit that promotes a vibrant and sustainable future for Cleveland Heights and University Heights through innovative ideas and civic engagement.

The event benefits a different Heights-based nonprofit every year. Organizers Jim Roosa and Jed Koops began the run in 2009 when their church, Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian, held a Big Give challenge in which every congregant was handed $50 and asked to invest it in some way that would help the community.

The inaugural run took place on July 18, 2009 and drew 60 registrants from throughout Northeast Ohio. Proceeds were donated to the Heights Emergency Food Center. In 2010, the event drew even more participants and proceeds were donated to Reaching Heights. After a hiatus in 2011, the event is back.

“The run has brought well-deserved attention to beautiful Forest Hill Park, which straddles the cities of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland,” said Roosa, “And it’s been a fun experience for participants of all ages.”

Roosa said that local businesses help sponsor the event each year. Previous sponsors have ranged from small companies, such as Pizza Bogo, My Happy Feet, and Pure Water Technologies, to large companies, such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Huron Hospital and Huntington Bank. Several sponsorship levels are available. Companies that contribute are named in publicity for the event, including the T-shirts given to participants.

Thunder Run starts near the east parking lot of Forest Hill Park and loops through the trails, around the lagoon and past the overlook on the west side of the park before returning to the finish line next to the softball fields. Participants then receive refreshments while prizes are awarded for overall winners, masters-level winners (over age 40) and winners in each age group.

Runners and walkers can register for this year’s event by visiting and clicking “Register.” For more information about sponsorship, e-mail or call 216-789-5357.

Deanna Bremer Fisher

Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 11:46 AM, 05.02.2012