Editorial: Great message behind a great race

Apr. 07, 2013 @ 10:53 PM

It was a beautiful Saturday for a run (or a walk, if you preferred) to usher in spring’s arrival and support a good cause.

Well, lots of good causes, actually.

Hundreds turned out at Northgate Mall for The Great Human Race, sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Durham, which has raised about $2 million for nonprofit organizations during the 5-kilometer race’s 18 years of existence.

The Volunteer Center brings together nonprofits and the private community through programs such as the annual race, Share Your Christmas and the Mayor’s Award.

This year, about 78 organizations came together for The Great Human Race to network and raise money – 85 percent of which they get to keep.

Participants could choose from a broad variety of worthy causes to support. Among them: Durham’s Partnership for Children, Orange County Rape Crisis Center, Backpacks for Kids and the Durham Literacy Center.

Kim Shaw, executive director of the Volunteer Center, told The Herald-Sun’s Cliff Bellamy that they aimed to raise between $200,000 and $250,000 each year through the race. On Saturday evening, the center’s website reported that a little more than $140,000 had been raised.

That’s somewhat disappointing. We can’t help but wish the event had seen more support, but every little bit matters. Sure, more donations would’ve been great, but the money raised wouldn’t have come without the race or the efforts of the Volunteer Center and participating organizations to promote it as much as they could.

Besides, The Great Human Race isn’t about breaking records or winning prizes.

Every loping step or casual strolling stride is about something bigger than the bottom line.

So noted Ronald Kurui. He was the first runner to cross the finish line after winding through the neighborhoods of Watts-Hillandale near the North Carolina School of Science and Math.

“You run to care for other human beings,” Kurui said.

Well put. Many thanks to The Volunteer Center, participating nonprofits and all the runners and walkers who gave money and muscle effort to show support for our fellow humans.