The hottest road race in the south brings back the heat with the 9th Annual Run for the Red road race on Aug. 1. As of this writing 100 participants have signed up and hundreds more will eventually sign up. Running, among many other outdoor activities, not only keeps you healthy, but also brings awareness to the American Red Cross.

“The Highlands Chapter of the American Red Cross covers a large area of North Carolina. The Red Cross has helped many people in the area and we need to support them as well,” said Julio Ramirez, race director. 

The Red Cross has sprung into action to help those in need helping individuals and families in Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke and Sampson counties for more than 90 years. 

There are three entry categories in the race: the 10K, 5K and a 1-mile race. Cash prizes are up for grabs by the winners of the 10K and 5K run. To encourage participation among families, the 1-mile run is open to children, making this an event for all ages. 

The 10K first place award is $100; the second place award is  $70; and the third place is $50. The first place winner of the 5K will win $75; second place, $50; and third place, $50. All age groups will receive medals.

Last year’s race raised $12,000  with sponsorships and the help of the Fayetteville community. All donations are given to the American Red Cross.

“I am a second time leukemia survivor,” said Ramirez. “Staying positive and surrounding myself with people has helped me overcome my illness. Last year I ran the 5k; this year I won’t be running, but I love directing and helping out the Red Cross.” 

Running and walking is a cheap way to optimize your physical activities. There is no equipment needed or expensive clothes, the only thing needed is your body. Your heart and legs, of course, do most of the work, but the end result is rewarding.  

When people see the American Red Cross, no matter in what context,  it brings hope. Since 1881, the Red Cross has helped people throughout the world. Redcross.org defines the work of the Red Cross as: responding to “approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year, ranging from home fires that affect a single family to hurricanes that affect tens of thousands, to earthquakes that impact millions. In these events, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. Emergency communications, training, support to wounded warriors and veterans, and access to community resources help an average of 150,000 military families and veterans annually. Each year, nearly 4 million people donate blood through the Red Cross, helping to provide more than 40 percent of America’s blood supply. Each year, more than 9 million Americans participate in our training programs, including first responders, educators, babysitters, and people who want to be prepared to help others in an emergency.”

The Run for the Red is on Aug. 1 at Festival Park from 7a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The 10K starts at 7:15 a.m., 5K at 7:20 a.m., with the 1 mile run at 8:35 a.m. Find out more at www.redcross.org/nc.

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