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On your mark! Annual Run for the Ribbons set for Saturday, April 13

| Date Posted: 3/21/2019

ROCKINGHAM – Looking to show support for your school? Or a chance for a competitive footrace or just a fun family outing? You can have all this and support a good cause during the very popular Run for the Ribbons 5K and 1 mile Family Fun Run in downtown Rockingham. It’s set for Saturday morning, April 13, 2019. And local schools get in on the fun.

“As part of this event, we invite students and staff of all Richmond County Schools to a healthy challenge, to see which one can bring out the highest percentage of staff and students to participate,” says Cindy Goodman, chair, FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Foundation, which is co-sponsor of the event with Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham. “There’s prize money for the top three schools, but the real benefit is the focus on fitness.”

At Washington Elementary in Rockingham, this yearly event brings much energy to the campus.

“Several of our teachers create challenges in their classrooms that promote a little friendly competition for Run for the Ribbons,” says Angela Watkins, principal. “It's great for our students to see the teachers, staff and the principal outside of the school doing non-school activities. And they are always shocked to see me in a t-shirt and running shoes! I love the sense of community that it brings to our school.”

Last year, 370 students, teachers and families from different schools turned out—a 20 percent increase from the prior year. The total number of participants also broke records in 2018, with more than 560 runners and walkers. Last year’s winning schools were West Rockingham Elementary—which celebrated its second win in a row; Monroe Avenue Elementary school and Richmond Early College High School.

You do not need to be associated with a school to participate. But if you are, you’ll want to get your school “in the running” for the prize money of $500, $250 or $100 for first, second and third place. To do so, be sure to include your school name during registration on the race website,

Participants are welcomed to join either the 1 mile run/walk at 9:30 a.m. or the 5K run/walk at 10 a.m. The 5K option is more challenging and includes a scenic trail run along Hitchcock Creek. The one-mile option is along streets downtown. Both start in downtown Rockingham at Discovery Place Kids, 233 Washington St.

“You don’t even need to run or walk to participate,” says Katie Herndon, director of Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham. “You can sponsor an athlete or an entire classroom. Of course, we always welcome spectators to line the course and enjoy special events outside of Discovery Place, including food and fun activities.”

Major sponsors this year include the City of Rockingham, which provides staff and security on race day; Richmond County Tourism; Burlington Industries; Sandhills Emergency Physicians; Hayden Construction; von Drehle Corporation; Duke Energy; and First Bank.

Registration is now open, with a $5 early bird discount for those who sign up before March 31. Visit the website for details: Every race participant gets a t-shirt, a sponsor swag bag, and admission that day into Discovery Place Kids.

Funds raised from both participants and sponsors provide funding for programs focused on healthy lifestyles, including fitness, healthy eating and education.

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