Fourth annual RoxEl Run is June 4
The RoxEl Run, a community foot race now in its fourth year, will take place on Saturday, June 4 at 9 a.m. Starting at the Roxboro Middle School track, 2405 Roxboro Road, the race loops around the school's surrounding neighborhoods. Proceeds raised benefit Roxboro Elementary School PTA programs for students in grades K–5.
First organized in 2013 by Roxboro Elementary School PTA members to encourage healthy habits and physical fitness for elementary-age students, the race has grown into a popular competitive event that is fun for all ages. All students, parents, staff, alumni and neighbors within the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District are welcome to attend. Last year's event drew 231 runners and raised $3,000.
More than 300 participants are expected at this year's event. As in the past, events begin at 9 a.m. with a 4-mile and 2-mile run, followed at 10 a.m. by a Kid Fun Run around the middle school track for elementary-age children. New in 2016 is a 2-mile walk, which begins shortly after the run start time and follows the same route.
Organizers encourage participants of all fitness levels. The event incorporates the tagline "Run Like it's Recess" to teach children and youth to make fitness part of a healthy lifestyle. This family event encourages parents to run alongside their children or push them in strollers. School teachers and administators enjoy the friendly competition, and children are inspired by having role models running with them.
"There is something for everyone at this event," said PTA parent volunteer Jing Lauengco, "whether one walks, runs, cheers or volunteers."
In order to prepare students for the RoxEl Run, Roxboro's PTA established a Run Club for Roxboro students in third through fifth grades. Twenty young participants train after school on Tuesday afternoons for an eight-week period leading up to the event. Roxanne Bain, a Roxboro parent and marathon runner, coaches the children along with other volunteers, helping them develop good running technique and build endurance for the June race.
After the race, runners and families can enjoy refreshments, healthy snacks and a DJ. Those who wish to cheer on their favorite runners can bring their own chairs or picnic blankets.
The event is made possible through the generous support of St. Paul's Episcopal Church; Chestnut Hill Realty; Farmer's Insurance; Howard Hanna Realty; Big Fun; Bruegger's Bagels; Luna Bakery and Café; Vince Nemeth, Roxboro's physical education teacher; and the Atkins, Gisel, Holland and Patterson families.
For event details, including registration and course information, visit runsignup.com or contact the event co-chairs: Kate Pophal, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Christine Atkins, email@example.com. Registration began April 4. Join the event and follow updates on Facebook.
Andrea C. Turner
Andrea C. Turner is the Heights Observer's managing editor. She volunteers as the media relations chair for the RoxEl Run.