About the Great Pumpkin Race
This race began in 1998 under the name Walk for Abilities to benefit Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities Special Olympics. The initial race had a total of 134 registrants between the 4 mile run and the 1 mile children’s fun walk.
In 2003, the race became part of the Ohio Subway Challenge Series and the name was changed to the Great Pumpkin Race. The race occurs annually on the Saturday just before Halloween.
The event consists of a 1-mile Family Fun Walk/Run and a 4-mile competitive run. The USATF certified course winds through the Avondale neighborhood with the start and finish lines at the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Whipple-Dale Center.
Registrants for the 2017 event topped more than 500, including kids, avid runners, senior citizens, and Special Olympic athletes and coaches. All proceeds from the Great Pumpkin Race go to support all Special Olympic programs in Stark County to purchase athlete uniforms, venue rental costs and travel costs to competitions.
Per Special Olympics regulations, all athletes participate in Special Olympics at no charge.
It takes many volunteers on race day to make a successful, fun event.
Volunteer Jobs Include:
Serve on the Great Pumpkin Race Planning Committee
We plan this event throughout the year with monthly committee meetings. We would welcome community partners.
Contact: Lisa Parramore
Inside and Outside Volunteers
On race day we have both inside jobs, such as checking in racers, to overseeing the kid’s activities. However, most of the volunteer needs are out on the race course, at water tables, pointing runners in the right direction or timers along the course. Groups, whether it be local businesses, service clubs or school organizations are welcome! We are happy to help document volunteer hours if needed. Get involved on race day!
Contact: Denise Frangos
Race Volunteer Coordinator
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