The Erin Is Hope Foundation is “making lemonade out of lemons” for its annual fundraising run this weekend, according to its founder and director, Judy Pollard-Licklider.
About two weeks prior to race day, the foundation had to cancel its signature 8K run through the Waterfront because of safety and logistical concerns.
The $1,000 cash purse that was scheduled to go to the 8K winners is now being divided between winners in its one-mile fun run, which is going on as originally scheduled.
“How’s that for kind of a different slant on a run event?” Pollard-Licklider said.
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The 8K had been run at the Waterfront – down Waterfront Parkway, on 13th and Webb streets, and through the Beech Lake area – from 2010 to 2014. Last year, the run moved downtown and was held despite a hailstorm that day.
After returning to the Waterfront this year, organizers wanted to run the same route they had run in years past.
The problem: The Waterfront has grown since the last time the race was run there and there is less space for parking, said Cathy Tilma, Waterfront property manager.
“We have a lot of tenants now that open at noon, and the (8K) run is just too invasive for the property anymore,” Tilma said. “We love having runners out there and using the facility, but they couldn’t find an appropriate route for them to use.
“We were willing to help figure out a place to have it around there, but they just can’t shut the streets down there” within the Waterfront.
The Erin Is Hope Foundation contacted everyone who had registered for its 8K and offered refunds.
Most everyone, Pollard-Licklider said, chose to donate their registration to the nonprofit, which serves children with communication disorders.
“They didn’t see themselves as running in the one-mile, but they wanted to donate their registration for our clinic,” she said. “It just really means a lot to us that people care about us like that.”
For more information about the Vote for Hope Run – known previously as the Inspire Hope 8K – or the Erin Is Hope Foundation, visit www.erinishope.org.
Vote for Hope Run
When: 9:15 a.m. Saturday
Where: Delta Dental of Kansas, 1619 N. Waterfront Parkway
What: One-mile fun run with $1,000 in cash prizes split between the winners
Prizes: The top male and female finishers will get $150, the second-place finishers will get $100, and the third-place finishers get $50. There are two age-specific categories: over 40 and under 12. The prizes for the top three male and female finishers in those categories are $50, $30 and $20, respectively.