Utica, NY – The Utica Roadrunners will be holding their Run Against Racism for the second year, starting this Saturday. The virtual event will take place from Saturday, July 17th through Sunday, August 1st. It will feature 34 temporary signs placed throughout the city that provide historical and current information on people, places and events that celebrate the rich history and contributions of Utica’s Black community. There are 27 stops in total that go through multiple neighborhoods and districts.
Participants are able to run, walk or bike at a time that works best for them over the 16 days and choose from a variety of distances/routes put together by the Roadrunners – ranging from 1.5 miles to the full 8.5 mile route. The routes and sign placement are available to download at www.uticaroadrunners.org.
Education, relationship building, openness and exploration of the communities around us can lead to understanding and to combat racism.
As they learn along the way, participants are also encouraged to use the time to talk to each other about racism and how take a stand against it in their every day lives. They are asked to share their thoughts and photos on the race’s Facebook event page.
The event is free, but voluntary donations will go towards the club’s student scholarship program to present a new category to a BIPOC student in 2022. Donations will also support local Black-owned businesses as the club buys gift cards to use as prizes for the run and purchases hair cuts to donate to a local youth organization for back-to-school cuts.
Utica Roadrunners president Jim Mott shares, “This is the one event I take the most pride in since I have taken this role with the club. We rarely get the chance to use our platforms in such a way to promote positive change and impact something that is so important. I am so proud to work with the people that have had the vision and passion to be the voices that must be heard.”
The unique event has garnered state and national attention from the Road Runners Club of America, Road Runners of New York and the Houston Area Road Runners Association (HARRA) as the Run Against Racism creators have been asked to present the run – how it was created, the success of it and plan to expand it.
In the past year, the club’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has taken on this run, a Black History Month event with local students where they presented on Black athletes and are initiating a new group membership for organizations that serve BIPOC youth, to get them interested in running. The group membership will provide youth all the benefits of UR membership, including mentorship, training and sense of community.
ABOUT THE UTICA ROADRUNNERS
Founded in 1975, the Utica Roadrunners is one of the largest and most active running clubs in Central New York, with over 600 members. The group promotes health and fitness through running as well as many other running and social activities and initiatives. It is a club where there is “a place for every pace”.
UR holds four signature races in the Utica area – Save Our Switchbacks, Summer Sizzle 5-miler, Skeleton Run 5K and the popular Falling Leaves 5K and 14K, which they have been holding for over 40 years. They also have a great Boilermaker Training Program and hold the Development Runs at the Parkway, which gets people in excellent shape to run their best 5K or 15K Boilermaker race. They provide student scholarships each year and have a special 1,000 mile challenge where you can earn the famous “Red Jacket”.