‘Race for Hope’ returns for New Year’s

Holiday 5K to benefit human trafficking awareness

By Cody Willoughby - cwilloughby@aimmediamidwest.com

TROY — The Free to Run Foundation presents the 12th annual New Year’s Day Race for Hope 5K, to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 1, in downtown Troy.

According to Free to Run Foundation co-founder Brett Bogan, the 5K race began as a fundraiser for Troy First United Methodist Church, and eventually shifted focus to social justice and human trafficking awareness. The event challenges Miami Valley residents to contribute to the cause.

Bogan and his friend and fellow runner Miami East teacher Cynde Sroufe founded the non-profit Free to Run Foundation in 2012. The organization provides support for groups in the Dayton and Columbus areas, like Abolition Ohio and Oasis House that provide shelter and resources for victims of human trafficking. The organization now plans annual 5K races throughout Ohio to raise funds and awareness.

“It’s an issue everyone should be aware of. Just by the act of doing the race, they’re helping to make a difference,” Bogan stated. “The more we can get people engaged in this movement, the more that we can empower people to advocate, then we could see real change.”

The 5K begins at 10 a.m. at the gazebo near Hobart Arena on the Great Miami River levee, and will not be timed. Water and snacks will be provided to participants.

The cost of admission is free to the public this year, though donations are still welcome to the foundation’s fundraisers. Proceeds from will benefit the Free to Run Foundation’s charity partners Abolition Ohio and Oasis House.

Despite weather complications in years past, current forecasts predict fair temperatures on Tuesday in the lower 40s. Organizers suggest only mild-to-moderate bundling up for those participating.

The organization has also announced it will offer a new World Race for Hope 5K in Troy this July, which will be timed and offer T-shirts. More details will be offered nearer to the event.

Online registration is available until Monday at 10 p.m. at www.runsignup.com/Race/OH/Troy/WorldRaceforHopeTroy.

The New Year’s Day Race for Hope 5K is sponsored locally be Strava, ConSeal Concrete Sealants Inc., Up and Running Fitness Shoes & Apparel, and Pachamama Market.

Abolition Ohio is the Miami Valley’s Rescue and Restore Coalition (which uses an organizational model that was created by the Department of Health and Human Services). Oasis House provides services to women who have been trafficked or abused, including housing, professional counseling and employment help.

For more information, find Abolition Ohio on Facebook.

Holiday 5K to benefit human trafficking awareness

By Cody Willoughby