EDITOR'S NOTE: Our mission is fitness throughout our community, and our members carry it out every day, sharing their knowledge, enthusiasm, and generous hearts. Our work is never done, though, as new needs arise and old friends still need support. Take a look at the many causes our members serve and see where you might be able to lend a hand. Thanks for all you do to make this a better place!

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Check out our archive for previous travels On the Road, and remember we invite you to share your own story, cause or advice with our members.

On the Road Lending a Hand


By BRUCE OAKLEY
White River Roadrunners President-elect

Roadrunners are odd birds. We flock together in a sport where most of us measure success against our own performances. We live out the sentiment from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer": "Let's be independent together!"

My, how we do like to gather. We show up in the rain or the heat, when there's food or a competition, for fun or to fund a cause. We reach out and join hands as we step out and keep pace.

Help Needed

Our friends are asking for our help again in the next few weeks, so before reviewing where we have been and what we have done, here's a quick list of where we are soon needed:

Saturday, July 13, Lyon College: The Bad Boy Kids Triathlon to benefit the Ozark Foothills Literacy Project still needs volunteers to help direct athletes on the bike and run courses and assist in the pool and transition areas. Contact info@literacyindependence.org if you or someone you know is available.

Through Aug. 24: Four of our members have signed up for an RRCA coaching certification course so that the club will have national-standard best practices, safety and organization as we offer free clinics and advice to area residents. The club is covering one fee, and the Oakleys are starting a collection toward the others. Bruce is donating a month's coaching package for a donor chosen at random from those who contribute at least $10. Also, the club is arranging a first aid/CPR certification class with Vital Link in the next few weeks, since that is a requirement of the coaching certification. Contact me for more information about donating or the CPR class.

Saturday, Aug. 3: The White River 4-Mile Classic is shaping up, with water stations and finish line food and refreshment set, but traffic monitors and general volunteers are still needed for our showcase state Grand Prix race. Let me know if you can lend a hand.

Saturday, Sept. 7, Batesville High: The seventh and final Sara Low Memorial 5k will begin at 8 a.m. Help make this the best remembrance of the wonderful lady we lost on 9/11. Again, let me know if you can lend a hand.

Around the Neighborhood

And here's a quick list of some upcoming or new local races where we might test ourselves or contribute to a cause (besides the above):

Saturday, Aug. 10, Cave City Community Center: The Bethany Project Melon Dash 5k starting at 7 p.m. revives the runners' connection to the Watermelon Festival. It's an evening race for those who might want to double-dose on watermelon, since the Hope Watermelon 5K is that same morning.

Saturday, Sept. 21, 9:30 p.m.: The Afterglow 5k, Batesville Riverside Park, is a startup race by the Chamber of Commerce to wrap up the Water Carnival. Runners will take off from the river after the fireworks display and run to a closing block party at the Pocket Park on Main Street. Glow-in-the-dark wear encouraged.

Saturday, Oct. 5, double dip: Catch a Wave, but don't forget to Duck as you enjoy the WRMC "Run the Wave" 5k at 8 a.m. in Batesville and Duck N Run 5K (March of Dimes) at 5 p.m. at Jacksonport State Park, Newport.

Saturday, Nov. 2, 6 p.m.: The new Big Brothers/Big Sisters Zombie 5k Fun Run at Eagle Mountain on the Tax Run course aims to scare up a bit of healthy fun after Halloween.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m.: The White River Christmas Half-Marathon & Relay to benefit needy families graciously accepts donations in any amount for entry.

Farther Out

If you like to move beyond your home turf, the club regularly receives invitations to go yonder. The most recent comes from Gil Mitchum, race director of Cleburne County's Ozark Trail Festival 5k/10k, "Fight Like a Kid," at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 in Heber Springs.

We'll pass along other invites as they arrive.

And We Helped

Did I mention that Roadrunners are busy flockers?

Our club Challenge Series includes 14 races — and we left three off the list. Another three races have been announced in recent weeks, making 20, and that doesn't include the New Year's Prediction Run, the Relay for Life or the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot fun run — we have a local event every 2 1/2 weeks, with beneficiaries including Special Olympics, American Cancer Society, Area Agency on Aging, March of Dimes, Northcentral Arkansas Development Council, Batesville High Band, and other agencies and school/civic endeavors.

Our members have also raised funds in the St. Jude Half in Memphis, St. Jude Marathon in Nashville and Women's Half in Nashville (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Team Challenge partner). We help with the Women Run Arkansas clinic and are gearing up to do more throughout the community with our new certified coaches in the months ahead.

We live better through exercise, and it's nice to be able to give as good as we get.

So glad to see so many with fleet feet out On the Road Lending a Hand!