Downtown Rocks and Run set for weekend

Staff report

The United Fund of Surry will kick off its 2018-19 Annual Community Campaign with the 11th-Annual Downtown Rocks and Runs 5k and 10k this weekend.

This is the first of a number of events scheduled for the upcoming United Fund campaign, which has a $475,000 goal this year. The organization just named Will Sheppard as its fundraising chairman for the campaign (more information on that is available on page B1 of today’s Mount Airy News)

As for this weekend’s kick-off event, organizers say they hope it’s the best one yet.

“The focus this year was to take a tried-and-true race event and make it even bigger and better than previous years,” the United Fund said in announcing the event.

“We are really excited to be able to double our cash prize this year thanks to a sponsorship from Advanced Electronic Systems,” the group said.

The top male and female runners for both the 5k and 10k will each walk away with $250. Officials with the United Fund said they had received feedback over the years that cash prizes tend to attract what they called “high-caliber runners,” which in turn serves to make the race more competitive.

In addition to cash prizes for the overall winners, medals will be handed out to the top-three finishers in each age division, both male and female. The three-inch custom medals feature race artwork from James Penn.

“We have had runners tell us that they have traveled in from places like Charlotte because they like the race logo,” the group said. This year, Penn incorporated Mount Airy’s downtown clock tower into the design.

Each participant will be receiving a Dri Fit T-shirt donated by Hanes Brands and a goody bag with socks donated by Renfro among other things. While organizers say it can be a challenging run, they also say it is one that features people pushing strollers and sometimes includes entire families running together.

A record-setting 53 local businesses committed to sponsoring this year’s event. Sponsorships from local businesses cover the costs of the run so the money from every registration goes directly to funding the United Fund’s 26 member agencies. Local businesses including Eagle Carports, Leonard Buildings, Surry Communications, and Webb Southern Carroll Community Center are also supporting the race by enrolling teams into the Corporate Fitness Challenge. For this challenge, the business with the most registrants will win a trophy.

People can register for the race online at through Thursday at 6 p.m. After that point, registration will need to be in person Friday from noon until 6 p.m. at Reeves Community Center or the morning of the race — Saturday, from 6:30-7:30 a.m.

The race starts with the 10k at 7:45 a.m. in front of the Mount Airy Municipal Building.

Staff report