Put on your running shoes – and costumes – for the Wicked FIT Run

More than 250 people braved the weather, put on Halloween costumes and ran for Families in Transition-New Horizon at the seventh annual Wicked FIT Run in Concord on Oct. 27. The event raised more than $30,000 for FIT-NH. Courtesy of Families in Transition-New Horizons
More than 250 people braved the weather, put on Halloween costumes and ran for Families in Transition-New Horizon at the seventh annual Wicked FIT Run in Concord on Oct. 27. The event raised more than $30,000 for FIT-NH. Courtesy of Families in Transition-New Horizons
Lief Martinson from the Lincoln Financial runners group makes his way to the finish line near Rollins Park Saturday at the Wicked Fit 5K race. The run supports Families in Transition (FIT), a nonprofit organization located in Manchester, Concord and Dover, New Hampshire, was founded in 1991 in response to the growing number of homeless individuals and families in the greater Manchester area and throughout the state. - See more at: http://www.fitnh.org/#sthash.tyOWpbR8.dpuf
Lief Martinson from the Lincoln Financial runners group makes his way to the finish line near Rollins Park Saturday at the Wicked Fit 5K race. The run supports Families in Transition (FIT), a nonprofit organization located in Manchester, Concord and Dover, New Hampshire, was founded in 1991 in response to the growing number of homeless individuals and families in the greater Manchester area and throughout the state. - See more at: http://www.fitnh.org/#sthash.tyOWpbR8.dpuf
Families in Transition's fifth annual Wicked FIT Run will be held Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Rollins Park. Courtesy
Families in Transition's fifth annual Wicked FIT Run will be held Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Rollins Park. Courtesy
The Families in Transition Wicked FIT Run took place in Rollins Park in Concord, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.  (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ
The Families in Transition Wicked FIT Run took place in Rollins Park in Concord, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ

How often do you get to see Captain America, a skeleton, multiple princesses, Abe Lincoln and three blind mice race each other through city parks and streets?

Well, once a year, actually, and this year that opportunity will come Saturday.

It’s not a joke – we’re talking about Families in Transition’s 8th annual Wicked FIT Run. The Wicked FIT Run is one of the greatest spectacles to behold in the city each year, when hundreds of runners and walkers suit up in Halloween costumes, meet at Rollins Park and embark on a family-friendly – and funny looking – 5K race. It’s all in good fun, and it’s all for the benefit of Families in Transition-New Horizons, which works to end hunger and homelessness in the community.

While the costume element makes it something of a novelty, this is still a timed race and a certified course. That means if you’re a hardcore runner, you can still go for an elite time, and you’ll have some funny pictures to boot. Teams, individuals and “socialized dogs” are welcome to participate in the 5K, and there will also be a free kids’ course with fun activities and an obstacle course.

New this year, there will be a free pasta dinner on Friday, the night before the race, at the Concord Food Co-op’s hot-food bar from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. This is the co-op’s way of thanking the community for supporting the cause. While registered participants will eat for free, guests are welcome for a $10 donation, the proceeds of which will go to Families in Transition-New Horizons.

Just like any good race, there will be all kinds of prizes and awards handed out at the Wicked FIT Run. Awards will be given for the following categories:

Top three overall male and female

Best Individual female costume

Best Individual male costume

Best kid costume

Best theme costume

Top fundraising team

Top fundraising individual

As well as top male and female in each of these age groups:

10 and under

11-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

70+

That’s a lot of awards.

Registration is $25 for ages 20 and up, $15 for ages 11-19 and free for ages 10 and under. You can also register for the entire FIT-NH 5K series, which includes three races. Registration can be done online (just Google Wicked FIT Run – the URL is too long and clunky for print) or at the event beginning at 8:30 a.m. for an additional $5. Registering online will automatically create a fundraiser for you to share with your friends, family and social network. You can also make a donation on the website if you want to help the cause but can’t make it to the race. The race will go on rain or shine.

If you’re still on the fence about the whole thing, consider:

In Concord, in 2018, FIT-New Horizons provided housing and services to 19 homeless individuals and 18 homeless families with 34 children. That’s a total of 71 people.

Since they’ve been in Concord, FIT-New Horizons has provided housing and services to 121 families. That’s 435 people, including 209 children.

The work that Families in Transition-New Horizons does is critical, and the organization relies on a lot of support from the community. Last year’s Wicked FIT Run had about 500 registered participants who raised more than $30,000. As of Friday, about $9,200 had been raised, with a total fundraising goal of $65,000. With days to go until the race, there’s still time to hit that goal.

The race will begin at Rollins Park at 9:30 a.m. and the course goes through the neighborhoods surrounding the park. It’s open to anyone who wants to participate. For more information, go to fitnh.org.

Author: Jon Bodell

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