SALEM - Competitors willing to run through mud, crawl on their bellies and climb a tangled net for a good cause can still take part in the Race for the ROC, a 5-K obstacle run starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at Waterworth Memorial Park.
Registration at www.racefortheroc.com is now closed, but people can register the day of the race and be placed in the wave set to take off at 11:15 a.m., Race for the ROC race director Mike McCulloch said.
Final preparations are being made for the event which will benefit the ROC of Salem, a faith-based community youth center located on South Lundy Avenue for area residents age 14 to 20. The Brightway Center, a Christian retreat located near Smithfield, is the main sponsor for the race.
The cost to enter is $45 for an individual and $40 per person for a team of three or more people, with only cash accepted the day of the race. At least 255 contestants registered online, representing eight states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey and New York.
McCulloch said both contestants and spectators are being asked to park at Salem High School, with a shuttle run to the park. All the entrances to the park from Sunset, School Street and Superior Avenue will be closed all morning until 1:30 p.m.
The race will be done in waves, with a group of contestants leaving at 9 a.m., then 9:45 a.m., then 10:30 a.m. and then 11:15 a.m. Awards will be presented in each age group and for overall winners. Spectators will be able to walk the course and there will be food concessions and music, with a large tent set up. The race will go on, rain or shine.
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 barrell 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.
"The parks department has been huge in getting all these obstacles put together," McCulloch said.
He noted the run through the mud obstacle will feature a pit 3 1/2 feet deep, 5 feet wide and 10 to 15 feet long. The Salem Fire Department was helping to fill the pit with water and there were plans to spray off the contestants.
A lot of businesses have stepped forward as sponsors for the race, also.
"It's been great to see how much support we have for the event," he said.
Both the Brightway Center and the ROC of Salem will have tables set up so people can learn more about them. Donations will be accepted the day of the event.
Medics will be on site and The Image Works of Salem will handle official race photography.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at email@example.com