The name may be different, but many are already familiar with the event. For the past 18 years, Celebrate Westlake has made a difference in the community promoting health and wellness as well as raising funds for many local and national charities. In fact, from its inception the event has raised for charities more than a $1 million. While the event name has changed to North Coast Challenge presented by Celebrate Westlake, the event activities will go unchanged and will continue to be one of the premier events of its kind in Northeast Ohio.
The 2008 North Coast Challenge, a 5-mile run and a 3.4 mile walk fundraiser will begin with day-of-the-race registration from 6:45-8 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, at St. John Medical Center, 29000 Center Ridge Road, Westlake. The run officially begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk takes off at 8:30 a.m. too. Both the run and walk will start and finish on Center Ridge Road, just north of the Hospital. The course is certified with the state of Ohio.
“Same event, same location, same weekend, just a new name,” says William “Bud” Hagy, race director, and local business owner. “We felt that after 18 years it was time to change the event’s name to attract new participants. Our longevity is attributed to the tremendous support received from our many sponsors, especially the event founding sponsor, St. John West Shore Hospital,” Hagy adds, “Our success is reflective of the many volunteers and planning committee members who have taken the time to make this event the best of its kind.” Hagy adds, “It must also be noted the outstanding support that we receive from the community. The community has truly embraced this event and we are grateful for that.”
In addition to the run and walk, a half-mile and 1-mile Kids’ Fun Run, and an adult Health and Fitness Expo will round out the day’s events. The Kids’ Fun Run starts at 9:45 a.m. and will be held on the Hospital’s fitness trail. There will be prize money and/or award trophies presented to winners in both adult and kids’ races. Awards given to children will be presented as winners cross the finish line (top three boys and girls in each division); every child will receive a special trophy as they cross the finish line regardless of where they place/finish. All other awards (adult runners and walkers) will be announced at the main award tent between 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Once again this year, there will be male/female awards to those first place winners who reside in Westlake. Also, there will be free sport massages, pizza, fruit, cookies and beverages. Children will enjoy free face painting, giveaways and their own food tent.
The Health and Fitness Expo, from 8 a.m. to Noon, includes local merchants and vendors who display the latest in health and wellness products. In addition, St. John West Shore Hospital Community Outreach will be on hand to provide free blood pressure readings, along with additional information on ways to improve one’s health.
Registration fee for the day’s events are: $18 pre-registration, which includes a long-sleeve, T-Shirt with the race logo and a deluxe baseball cap with logo; $20 the day of the race with the T-Shirt and deluxe baseball cap; $10 on day of race without T-Shirt and baseball cap. For kids younger than 13, the race is $8 with a T-Shirt (same as the adult) and deluxe baseball cap. Kids younger than 13 may participate at no cost without receiving a long-sleeved T-shirt.
While the event name has changed, please still make checks payable to: Celebrate Westlake. All pre-registration entries must be received by Thursday, August 28. Registration forms may be picked up and dropped off at the Westlake Recreation Center, 28955 Hilliard Blvd. Registration is also available from Noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, August 29 at the Westlake Recreation Center.
Race proceeds will benefit local charities as well as the American Lung Association-Cleveland Chapter. Over the years, Celebrate Westlake has donated more than $1 million to local charities to start up or maintain education, health and wellness, emotional and financial support programs for the general community. Last year’s event raised more than $70,000 for charities. “We were pleased with the amount raised last year,” says Hagy. “ We are also delighted the event is being hosted once again on the campus of St. John Medical Center. The beautiful Hospital grounds lend so much to the event and it serves as a perfect setting for the day’s activities.”
Participants may also register online, as well as receive the latest race information, at www.northcoastchallenge.com. If you have a question about race participation, please call (440) 808-5700 and ask for Rachel. If you are interested in the Health and Fitness Expo, please call Katie Bacha at (440) 827-5007. If you would like to have a sponsorship packet mailed to you or your place of business, please call (440) 827-5002.