Griffith YMCA has a Rockin’ Time at 2014 Rock ‘N Rail 5K

The third annual Rock ‘N Rail 5K at the Griffith YMCA went off without a hitch on Saturday afternoon. The run, which coincides with Griffith’s own Rock ‘N Rail festival, hosted runners from the town and beyond to make it their very first dry run in it’s history.

Executive Director of the Griffith YMCA, Carl Zurbriggen said that even though the race has been happening only for the past two years, it’s already had a tumultuous past. “The first year it stormed just before the race finished and last year it started pouring fifteen minutes into the race.” All weather aside, he said that the heart and soul of this race is that the funds raised by the participants help people within the community.

“The main reason we do this is to raise money for the financial assistance program. All of the families, individuals, senior citizens and anyone else who can’t afford to have a membership at the Y or put their kids in preschool or daycare will now be subsidized due to the money that’s raised today.”

The Griffith YMCA hoped to raise a total of $10,000 with the proceeds of the Rock ‘N Rail 5K. Even though the goal was hefty, the staff of the YMCA and their volunteers still had a positive outlook. Kenny Companik, who is the front desk supervisor of the Griffith YMCA, was one of those people.

“It’s gone so well this year. We’ve rearranged things a bit so that we have more space, there’s no rain, and we’ve been here since this morning and everything’s gone off without a hitch. I’m really excited to be here.”

Around 200 runners showed up to take on the Rock ‘N Rail - and like with every race, there were the veterans and the first timers. Trisha Foss and her son Hunter Baker decided to join in the Rock ‘N Rail to make it their first ever 5K. Foss explained that she had been a bit nervous to take up the challenge but by taking on classes at the Griffith YMCA she’s gained confidence.

“I went from running to walking to running again but I did fairly well on the treadmill yesterday. I’m hoping this is my first step to running the Chicago Marathon.”

On the opposite end, Marcia Rutell, who traveled from Highland to be in the race and finished second in her age division, has not run in a 5K in over four years but she was still excited to accomplish the rank.

“I came here with my daughter-in-law and her six friends and I thought they were going to kick my butt so I didn’t sleep last night, but I ended up doing them all in. All I can say is ‘Woo-hoo!’ and I’m ready to run some more!”

Overall, the runners and the Griffith YMCA staff had a rocking time at the Rock ‘N Rail 5K. Some of the runners went to the next street over to get their free beer at the Rock ‘N Rail festival, some simply talked with their families, and some went home to celebrate a great day out running in the streets of Griffith. It’ll only be until next year when YMCA and the City of Griffith join forces to host such an outstanding event.

The Griffith YMCA would also like to thank their sponsors that made the race possible: Members Source Credit Union, True Lux Car Wash, Bill’s Grill, Strack & Van Til, United Federal Credit Union, Jay Platt Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center, McAleer & Gall Dentistry, Spitz & Miller, Puntillo & Crane Orthodontics, Ideas in Motion Media, Leber Construction Consulting, Midwest Telecom of America, TLC Plumbing, Dunhill Tuxedos, Alkon, Hi-Rail Modular Train Club, Culver’s, Smoothie King, Theater at the Center, Hoosier Sports, and Cakes by Karen.

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