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100-mile relay in McCandless benefits North Hills Community Outreach

At least 200 pairs of sneakers will be needed on May 18 to finish the Miles2Meals 100-mile relay, an occasion that benefits North Hills Community Outreach.

At least 200 sets of sneakers will be required on May 18 to complete the Miles2Meals 100-mile relay, an occasion that supports North Hills Community Outreach.

Two groups of 100 individuals will assemble that morning at the track at North Allegheny Intermediate High School, off Cumberland Road in McCandless.

Runners finish 1 mile before passing a baton to the next member of their 100-person team, stated Vincent Rotunno, who coordinates the race with NAI teacher Jason Winschel. When runner No. 100 reaches the finish line, the baton will have traveled a total of 100 miles and the team’s overall time will be recorded.

“Participants in these 100-person teams are encouraged to register in groups of five so that they are grouped together and can arrive together and pass the baton to their friends or family,” shared Rutonno, a McCandless inhabitant and 2023 North Allegheny alum.

This is the second year for the fundraiser, which allocates 100% of its proceeds to the NHCO, Rotunno stated.

Sign-up is open until May 4, and the fee is $5 plus a $2.30 online service fee. Registration ends at 200. To enroll, visit www.miles2meals.com. Race times will be given after registration is closed.

The occasion includes activities, food trucks, music, and T-shirt and concession sales as the race is taking place.

“I came up with the concept last year during my final year in cohorts with my middle school cross country coach,” Rutonno said about Winschel. “He grew up in Mt. Lebanon, and so that is where the inspiration came from. We wanted to create a fundraiser race that was unlike conventional 5k and 10k runs and had more of a festival ambiance.”

In 1976, a 200-mile relay race was conducted in Mt. Lebanon to commemorate the American Bicentennial, with a comparable concept of 200 runners each racing a mile.

The Miles2Meals event is backed by local businesses and the NA Table Tennis Club.

“We received numerous contributions from individuals that did not participate in the race, as well as from those who did. I discovered that people truly appreciated that it was a local cause, as NHCO operates three food banks in Allegheny County,” shared Rotunno, who now attends Ohio University.

Last year, Miles2Meals collected almost $8,000. The objective this year is $10,000 for NHCO, which oversees three food pantries, in Allison Park, Avalon and Millvale.

“We are thankful for (Vincent’s) support. Most of our fundraisers contribute to our general funds, which support all our services,” stated Jeff Geissler, spokesperson for NHCO. “Food pantry, services for seniors and utility assistance tend to be our most sought after services.”

For more details, go to www.nhco.org/services and Miles2Meals’ LinkedIn and Instagram pages.

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