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New name, same game: Sudbury Rocks!!! names new beneficiaries

HSN Foundation and Northern Cancer Foundation join forces for 2019 event 
Organizers and sponsors of the SudburyRocks Race Run Walk Marathon gather for a group photo after a press conference on Oct. 11 announcing new partnerships and beneficiaries. (Arron Pickard)

The Sudbury Rocks Marathon will return in 2019, with the usual venue and organized by the usual suspects, but there are a few significant changes.

Since 2004, the marathon has raised more than $600,000 for Diabetes Canada. Now, participants will be raising funds for two new beneficiaries — the Health Sciences North Foundation and the Northern Cancer Foundation.

Vince Perdue, promotions director for the marathon, said the group has had a very positive experience with Diabetes Canada, but they felt they were missing a local aspect to the fundraising.

“Several years ago, we talked about finding a good local partner that would be valuable for us and the community,” Perdue said at a press conference to announce the new partnerships. “Our race has always been about fitness in the community. My first thought was Health Sciences North, and through those discussions, we also thought about the Northern Cancer Foundation, and we started the ball rolling.”

Both foundations do tremendous work to improve the health of Sudburians. For the cancer foundation, it's something that has touched just about everyone's lives.

“In our running club alone, we've had two members die from cancer, and five who currently have cancer, so that is a natural fit,” Perdue said. “Also, both foundations have lots of experience with fundraisers and events, and we really use our partners to help run Sudbury Rocks. Without their help, it would be very difficult to put on this event, so it's a winning combination.”

Organizers haven't defined a fundraising goal for this year, but they want it to be the best year ever, Perdue said. 

“We really want to take a step forward, and we have a team that is really excited about it,” he said. “I'm happy with having 1,500 to 2,000 people participating, but even bigger would be great. It's more important to have people's feet on the ground, because it means more people are getting more fit as a result.”

Now named the Sudbury Rocks!!! Race Run Walk Marathon For the Health of It, it happens May 12, 2019 in downtown Sudbury. The event is open to all ages and offers a one-kilometre kids event for youth 12 and under, where they all receive a medal just for finishing.

There will also be a five-km, 10-km, half marathon, a full marathon (Sudbury's only qualifier for the Boston Marathon), as well as a marathon relay for groups of up to eight people.

The start line will be adjacent to the Tom Davies Square courtyard on Minto Street, and because it takes place on Mother's Day, all ladies who cross the finish line will get a little something extra for their participation.

Prizes are up for grabs for first, second and third place in the solo paid races.

Darren Jermyn, associate vice-president, health promotion, HSN and a running advocate, said there are a lot of people who train really hard for this event, and organizers are very excited about that, but it's really about the community, and to bring that together with these two new partners is even more exciting.

“This partnership can only lead to positive outcomes for everyone involved,” Jermyn said.

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Arron Pickard

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