The Sixth Annual “Race to the Rocker” will be held on March 22 in Cuba. The four-mile race from historic uptown Cuba to the site of the World’s Largest Rocking Chair in Fanning is sponsored by JOG, Inc. (Joggers of God, In Cuba). Proceeds from the event go to support local charities.
But it’s not only the running and the gifts to charities that make this a special event in Crawford County. As the race has continued to grow, organizers have heard stories about how deeply it has affected some of the individual participants. So, this year, they sent out a call for personal accounts of what the “Race to the Rocker” has meant to them. These inspirational stories of personal triumph, dogged determination, and life-changing decisions will be shared in the next several weeks as the race approaches. These stories are written by the participants, so readers can hear, in their own words, the impact of this event on their lives.
Ted and Jean Rigden: Participating from the Sidelines
We have been encouraging and cheering for all the participants of the Race to the Rocker since Brad and Rachelle Austin first had this idea to help the community. Their hard work and the work of the team of volunteers has grown this event to be even bigger and more successful than I think they ever imagined.
We are at the Beamer Lane road closing. We cheer and encourage as we watch the faster runners pass first, making the four miles seem effortless, followed by the runners and walkers challenging themselves as individuals. It is so cool to see families making memories, the group that’s always in costume, firefighters competing in full gear, and co-workers coming together for the cause.
Not one participant feels he is more important or more committed than the next. The respect between the fastest, the fittest, the kids, the under 60s, the over 60s, the one who crosses the line first, or the one who crosses last is amazing to watch. Smiles, laughs, and tears, we see and share them all. The year Kelly Durbin reached her goal was terrific. The next year, when she helped Tina Gianino cross the finish line was such an act of kindness.
Waves from friends, the high-fives, and smiles from our neighbors—we can’t think of a better way to spend a morning, or better people to spend it with. Love our town. Thanks for the memories.