Future uncertain for Newcastle 5K Run/Walk

February 28, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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Lee Strom and his son co-founded the Newcastle 5K Run/Walk four years ago. Since, the yearly event has raised more than $20,000 to benefit high school running programs and provide scholarships to college-bound seniors.

The future of the popular September marathon is in jeopardy, though, as Strom can no longer shoulder the brunt of the work that it takes to direct the race due to work commitments.

“It’s just hard to spend the time, both doing what I do and also being the race director for the event,” he said.

The sheer amount of work Strom does to put on the event is staggering. He has a significant hand in every aspect of the race, from the registration details and marketing to the participant prizes and refreshments.

The two most important duties are sponsor and volunteer procurement. He also works closely with city staff and the Newcastle Days committee.

Now, Strom is seeking someone, or a group of people, to take over the duties of directing the event.

“I’ve tried different means by which to spread the work around, but it really requires someone who has good stewardship or event management skills because it is very detailed oriented,” he said.

The amount of work it takes to run the event could be overwhelming for just one person, Strom said, so he suggests a group or organization take it on.

“I think my encouragement would be to try the ‘It takes a village’ approach,” he said.

Strom said he is willing to maintain a stake in the race, helping make the transition between directors a smooth one, but he cannot devote the same amount of time he used to.

If no one steps up to take control of the event, Strom said he fears it will cease to exist.

“That is not the hope or plan, but it is possible, yes,” he said.

The Newcastle 5K Run/Walk is held in conjunction with the citywide celebration Newcastle Days. It has become a popular event among Newcastle residents.

“What it’s meant to the community is it’s added a healthy lifestyle effect,” he said. “It’s added an activity that really feels likes a community event.”

Three lucky Newcastle teens will receive $1,000 in scholarship funds, thanks to proceeds raised from the 2012 Newcastle 5K Run/Walk.

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce awarded Strom with a 2012 Diamond Award for his work with the Newcastle 5K.


Get involved

The Newcastle 5K Run/Walk is seeking potential groups to assume directing duties of the race, after organizer Lee Strom announced he can no longer do so. Interested organizations, or individuals, are encouraged to email Strom at Newcastle5K@hotmail.com.

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