Newcastle Dentistry takes over Newcastle 5K
July 5, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
In February, the Newcastle 5K Run/Walk faced an uncertain future, after founder Lee Strom announced he could no longer shoulder the brunt of the work that it takes to direct the race due to work commitments.
The future became a whole lot brighter recently when Newcastle Dentistry agreed to assume race management, ensuring that the popular September event would continue.
“We can’t let students down,” Patricia Ramos, Newcastle Dentistry’s community liaison, said. “In the last four years, they’ve raised more than $18,000 going for scholarships. How can you let that die?”
Rebranded as the Newcastle 5K Run/Walk for Education, the Sept. 8 event is all about raising funds for college-bound high school seniors, said Geoffrey Strange, a dentist with Newcastle Dentistry.
“It’s not like education is getting cheaper,” he said. “It’s getting more and more difficult and the question is should only people that have money get to go to college? I mean, that doesn’t seem fair.”
Strange has run the Newcastle 5K before, and has the T-shirts to prove it, he said, and many of his employees are fitness enthusiasts, so it was a perfect fit.
The 2013 event will look largely the same as it has in the past, Ramos said, though a new 1K Kids Dash will be offered. Runners can participate for $10.
“We found that it’s a great way to have kids train for cross country that comes in the fall,” she said. “Some kids are more competitive than others, so we’re trying to give them the space they want to get the recognition for their effort.”
Registration for the regular 5K costs $25 per person, or $20 through group-registration. High school students can enter for $15. Fees will increase after Aug. 15. The 5K begins at 9 a.m., but for those who want to participate with strollers, or leashed dogs, there will be a staggered start at 9:15 a.m.
“This race is super flexible,” Ramos said. “Everyone is welcome, even dogs, as long as they are on a short leash and they are friendly. If you want to bike the race instead of running, of course you can do that, but it will be time delayed so we give space to the serious runners.”
Following the main race, the free, untimed Bitty Kids Dash will occur for young children.
Ideally, all funds raised from participant registration will go directly toward the scholarship fund, Strange said, but that will be determined by the amount of sponsors the race accumulates. Newcastle Dentistry is still seeking sponsors, and Strange said he would like to see more community businesses fill that role.
“Most businesses rely on the community, but it’s a two-way street and I understand that times can be challenging. It’s challenging running a business. It’s all about priorities, though,” he said.
HomeStreet Bank and the Coal Creek Family YMCA are just a few of the local businesses that have agreed to sponsor the event, Ramos said.
For volunteers, Ramos said they hope to turn to the schools. Race organizers will sign community service sheets for students who help.
“If they come, for example middle school students, they can get a glimpse of all the things that are going on to help other people go to college,” she said. “You volunteer, you run and then at some point you apply for that scholarship, so it’s a holistic process.”
Runners can register online at www.newcastle5k.com. Initial fees will increase Aug. 15. Participants can also register at a Newcastle Days booth, or on the day of the race, but they are not guaranteed a T-shirt.
“We’re trying to build community with the race,” Ramos said. “We want people to come out and volunteer. We want it to be a whole family event and we want to remind everyone that our goal is those kids going to college.”
What to know
- The Newcastle 5K Run/Walk for Education is a 3.1-mile course that travels on a mix of trails and paved roads through Newcastle parks and byways.
- The Sept. 8 race begins and ends at Lake Boren Park.
- Register for the event at www.newcastle5k.com.
The Newcastle 5K Run/Walk for Education is seeking sponsors and volunteers. Learn more by emailing Patricia Ramos at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com