“I just saw a number that this event has now raised over $1.7 million for local charities,” announced race founder Bud Hagy as he joined Mayor Dennis Clough, SJMC President William A. Young and emcee Connie Dieken in welcoming participants.
North Coast Challenge started in 1991 when Hagy, a veteran marathoner who has completed 100 26.2 milers in his career, discussed hosting a Cleveland Revco Marathon type event in Westlake with Mayor Clough.
The event has since become a civic institution, blending physical fitness, fundraising and a wellness lifestyle into one signature event. As the major sponsor, St. John Medical Center is a generous host, providing a venue for resources that benefit and subsidize an array of community causes like the DARE program, West Shore Y, Westlake Rec Center and many more.
“It is just good to give back,” said Hagy. “I especially love to see the kid’s runs. I have seen kids who got their first taste of running at this event go on to high school track careers. It is just great.”