Salem ROC plans 5K obstacle race Aug. 17

SALEM – Racers who want to help a local youth center can again climb over hay bales, wade through water, crawl through mud and go around other fun obstacles during this year’s 5K Race for the ROC on Aug. 17.

New race director Caroline McDermott announced that registration is now open at, with the most discounted price available until May 31 for individuals and teams.

The cost through the end of this month is $35 for individuals and $30 for each member of a team. From June 1 through June 30, the cost is $40 for individuals and $35 for each member of a team. From July 1 through July 31, the cost is $45 for individuals and $40 for each member of a team. From Aug. 1 through Aug. 11, the cost will be $50 for individuals and $45 for each member of a team.

Prizes will be awarded for overall male and female winners and the male and female winners in each age group. The first 300 to register will receive a gift bag.

McDermott, a 2000 Salem High School graduate, takes over for Mike McCulloch, who came up with the idea for the Race for the ROC and served as the first race director. McDermott wasn’t part of the race committee last year and said

she’s not planning any changes this year, keeping the course and the obstacles intact and inviting teams to once again wear matching outfits.

About 300 people took part in the race to benefit the ROC of Salem, a faith-based community youth center located on South Lundy Avenue for area residents age 14 to 20. The non-profit entity relies strictly on donations for operating funds, open on Tuesday and Saturday nights to serve area youths.

The Brightway Center, a Christian retreat center located on 175 acres of rural land near Smithfield, in Jefferson County, Ohio, will continue to serve as co-sponsor for the race and take on the liability as hosting organization.

The race will begin on Superior Avenue, proceed north through the park, then east on Sunset Boulevard, north on Westview, west on 15th Street, south on Eastview, and west on Sunset Boulevard back into the park where the obstacles will begin and racers will zig-zag through the woods along the walking path. The finish line will end in the middle of the ball fields between Superior Avenue and the duck pond area.

Contestants will encounter eight obstacles: hay barrel mounds, mud crawl, over and under staggered wood logs, run through mud, tires for ins and outs, crawl through tunnels, slip ‘n slide down the hill and tangled netting.

McDermott said they’re seeking both sponsors for the race and volunteers to help on race day. Information about becoming a sponsor can be found on the race website at, along with a map of the race course and race registration.

Potential sponsors can also send an e-mail at Sponsors and volunteers can also call McDermott at 234-564-3483.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at