Saturday, May 18, 2019, hundreds will gather for one of the most exciting events of the year for Rutherford County Schools. Starting and ending at McNair Field, the 10th annual running of Leader of the Pack 5k will, once again, take participants through downtown Forest City and across home plate of the stadium for a big-league finish. LOTP is one of the largest fundraisers hosted by the Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation (RCSEF) to support RCSNC initiatives like robotics, the RC Backpack Program, and the RCS Teacher Leadership Academy.
In 2018, around 600 participants took part in LOTP, making it the largest event on the ROC Race Series for several years in row. The 2019 event is expected to draw another great crowd of students, families, education supporters, and both casual and serious runners.
While hosting the largest event on the ROC series is exciting, RCSEF is even more proud of and excited for the level of student involvement in LOTP. In 2018, around 50 percent of race participants were 18 and under. This student engagement speaks volumes for the running clubs, teachers, mentors, and families at each school that encourage students to engage in healthy activity, community involvement, and giving back.
LOTP is not just a way for participants to stay active and give back, however. It is also a chance to win coveted Golden Runner trophies for schools and organizations. The elementary, middle, and high school that generate the highest level of participation will each be recognized with a Golden Runner trophy at RCSNC's annual beginning of the school year opening assembly. Forrest Hunt Elementary, East Rutherford Middle, and East Rutherford High were winners in 2018.
New in 2019, the Community Cup Challenge also invites groups, organizations, and businesses to create a race group and compete with one another to rally the largest group of participants. The group with the most registrants will also receive a Golden Runner trophy and will be recognized along with race winners at the award ceremony following the 5k.
Registration for LOTP is available at www.runsignup.com/leaderofthepack5k. All participants registered by May 3 are guaranteed a wicking race t-shirt. Pre-registration is $15 for students, $20 for non-students, or $60 for a family four-pack. Race day registration is $25. If you have additional questions or are interested in sponsoring the Leader of the Pack, please contact Chelsea Rush, firstname.lastname@example.org.