Gennesaret Inc.’s 24th-annual Home Run for the Homeless will take place Thursday, Nov. 26, at 9 a.m. in West Akron, with the one-mile fun run/walk at 8:30 a.m.
Butch Reynolds, Olympic track gold medalist and former world-record holder, will do the one-mile run/walk and start the four-mile race. The race also features an electronic timing system. The course starts and finishes in front of Gennesaret’s Family Nutritional Center, 419 W. Exchange St. After the race, many free door prizes, including gift certificates from popular retailers and restaurants, will be given away to runners. Raffle tickets will be sold for unique prizes.
The top-three male and female finishers in 12 age divisions will win awards. These first-, second- and third-place finishers also will receive a turkey, pumpkin pie and jam, respectively.
First-place male and female finishers in the master (40 to 49) and grandmaster (50-plus) age divisions will win awards, too. Gold-level sponsors are Vertical Runner running-shoe store; Suburban Maintenance and Construction; Pepsi; Ritchies Sporting Goods; Main Street Gourmet; Peoples Bank; Outback Steakhouse; Giant Eagle; Mustard Seed Market and Café; Papa Joe’s Iacomini’s; Maggiano’s Little Italy; The Cheesecake Factory; and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant.
Free fruit, baked goods and refreshments will be served. The first 1,200 pre-registered four-mile runners receive a free giveaway. Runners may bring like-new toys, gently used running shoes and blankets for needy families.
Gennesaret is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization based in Summit County that provides transitional housing to mothers, fathers and their children, and serves hot meals to an average of 600 individuals weekly. Gennesaret is funded entirely from grants and individual contributions and accepts no government financial support.
More than 300 volunteers support Gennesaret, from preparing and serving meals, packing and distributing bags of groceries, distributing clothing and picking up donated food items, to developing a Job Skills Training Center and a tutoring program. All race proceeds go directly to serving those in dire financial straits through the Family Nutritional Center and family housing apartments.
The four-mile Home Run begins at Gennesaret’s Family Nutritional Center, 419 W. Exchange St., and winds through historic Glendale Cemetery. Race-day registration is 7:15 t 8:45 a.m. at the Family Nutritional Center. Akron Police are on hand to regulate traffic and support the race. In 2014, the event had approximately 3,700 registered runners and walkers.
The online prerace registration fee until Nov. 24 is $20 per person 19 and over; two or more family members $10 each; and $5 per person age 18 and under. Registration is available at www.gennesaret.net.
Race-day registration is $25 per person. Pre-race registration and packet pickup will be Nov. 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Vertical Runner, 112 N. Main St., Hudson, and Nov. 25 from noon to 6 p.m. at Gennesaret’s Family Nutritional Center.
The one-mile fun run/walk is $2. Also online are a course map and parking map. For more info, call (330) 319-3954.