Run for a Reason

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Run for a Reason
Photo Courtesy of the Not So Normal Run

With four kids and a baby, Jay Radford is quite the doting dad. And his baby just happens to be the Not So Normal Run, the philanthropy-focused race he started in September 2014. The stay-at-home father, who also runs the Mom in Chapel Hill blog for parents, was feeling a little stir crazy when he devoted himself to organizing a race that’s all about giving back. Last year, the event raised more than $15,000 and served 27 different nonprofits. This year, he moved it to May, introduced 10K and half-marathon options, and added events such as a series of TED-inspired talks to the four-day weekend. Like a proud parent, he’s put all of his time and resources into making the Not So Normal Run even more successful. “The things that I could do with this are really limitless,” he says. Even as he is wrapping up the details for this year’s race (with plans already in the works for 2016), Jay got the idea to collect funds to provide shoes and running apparel to remove the financial costs of running. It’s his boundless determination that’s helping to make an impact on the community and set his event apart. “A lot of races are great, but it’s one morning, it’s one race, it’s one nonprofit – it’s an hour of your life, and then you forget about it,” Jay says. “This is four days, and you shouldn’t forget about it.”

Whether you race or not, you can still take part in the weekend festivities or donate. The lineup:

Thursday, May 14 

Fleet Feet Carrboro

Get pumped up for the weekend with a pep rally and a scavenger hunt around Carrboro.

Friday, May 15

Hampton Inn & Suites 

Check out the latest styles from Fleet Feet and Townsend Bertram & Company and jewelry from Cameron’s with hair and makeup from Ceremony Salon (owned by Jay’s wife, Rachel Radford). Stick around after for inspiring TED-type talks on running, community and giving from four local speakers (including our own VP of content, Andrea Griffith Cash) and a surprise guest.

Saturday, May 16

Parking lot at 300 East Main

Participants can pick up their race packets and spin a wheel to win swag while live bands play. Fuel up for the big day with dinner at a participating Chapel Hill and Carrboro restaurant. Each eatery will donate a portion of proceeds to a different nonprofit.

Sunday, May 17

Races start and finish at 300 East Main

Whether runners complete the 5K, 10K or half marathon, everyone will enjoy the after-race party featuring beer and coffee, prizes, an obstacle course and more.

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Jessica Stringer

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