Upper Arlington, Ohio, June 18, 2015 – The Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce will host a 5K race this Saturday, June 20, to benefit a locally based organization that uses motorsports as a way to help military veterans adjust to civilian life.
The Run UA 5K will begin at Upper Arlington’s Reed Road Park at 8 a.m., giving runners and walkers opportunities to participate in the chamber's first event promoting health and wellness in the community.
Executive Director Brandon Oates said the chamber hopes the event will become an annual one. It also will promote member businesses by allowing them to showcase their products and services through display booths, he said.
Proceeds from Run UA 5K will benefit VETMotorsports, a nonprofit organization established in 2012 by Upper Arlington resident Pete Cline to support military veterans who may struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder or have problems assimilating back into everyday life by involving them in high-adrenaline motorsports activities. Often, servicemen and women work in racing pit crews or take part in timed racecar and motorcycle drives, and the organization also provides networking and other socialization outlets.
"I was brainstorming about some ways the chamber could get more involved in the community and realized we didn't really have any events that centered around health and wellness," Oates said. "I also read about Pete Cline and VETMotorsports and thought, 'Wow. That's a great organization.' They're doing amazing work and I wanted to team up with them."
Registration for Run UA 5K will be accepted until the race begins. Registration will open on the day of the event at 7:15 a.m. at Reed Road Park, and adults can sign up to run or walk for $35. Anyone who signs up via uachamber.org between June 5 and race day can register for $30, or $25 per person for teams of three or more. Military personnel and veterans will receive a $5 discount regardless of when they register, and children can sign up on race day to take part in a free 100-yard Fun Run.
Although walkers and runners are encouraged to participate at their own pace, Run UA 5K will be a competitive, timed run, and the top three males and top three females will receive medals. Everyone who finishes the race will receive a "challenge coin" featuring both the chamber's and VETMotorsports' logos. The coins will be similar to those given to members of the military to commemorate missions they've completed.
"We're anticipating 125 runners and walkers for the first year," Oates said. "We're excited and expect this to grow each year."
Prior to the race, the chamber will provide a free pancake breakfast from 7:15 to 9:15 a.m., and veterans can get an update on their benefits at a Veterans Administration mobile unit that will be on-site.
At 9:15 a.m., Buckeye Chapter 500 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart will host a ceremony to officially designate Upper Arlington as a "Purple Heart City." The recognition officially honors the service and sacrifice of the nation's men and women in uniform, wounded or killed while serving their country.
More information and registration are available at www.uachamber.org/events.