Meet Met Downtown for a 5K Run & Lots of Fun
May 14, 2015
By Cristina Manos
Tucson is one city in the Southwest that knows how to turn just about any event into a block party. The Meet Me Downtown 5k Race will be no different, and it’s location, Downtown Tucson, makes it the perfect party spot for the event and for the after-party. Perhaps most races don’t offer a post-race beer garden and a fire show, but this one does and a whole lot more.
“The Meet Me Downtown 5k Race is a highlight race for the running community each year. It demonstrates the great strength of our running community and of course, after the race everyone gets to enjoy our Downtown amenities.” Mayor Jonathan Rothschild says, “I do the one-mile run when I can. Running with the children is a lot of fun, though many of them are faster than me.”
The 9th Annual Meet Me Downtown 5k Race will be held on Saturday, May 30, Downtown at Armory Park in front of the Children’s Museum Tucson.
6:30pm: Free FitKidz Children’s Mile with Mayor Rothschild
7:00pm: 5k Run and Walk
8:30pm: Post-Race Party at Hotel Congress
Meet Me Downtown is created by the Southern Arizona Roadrunners (SAR), a small local organization formed in the 70s and became a non-profit in the 80s, dedicated to health and wellness through running and walking. The event attracts runners from all over the United States. Randy Accetta, SAR’s Race Director is expecting over 2,500 runner this year, and the event will attempt to raise over $50,000 for local charities and organizations.
“The races are put on to serve the running community, to serve the greater community, and to raise dollars for local charities and organizations,” Accetta says. “Come and be healthy and fit and enjoy yourself, and be part of a broader community and remember your dollars are also going to support local charities and organizations.”
More importantly, the event has put Downtown Tucson in the spotlight, helping its growth and vitality. Nine years ago, there wasn’t much happening Downtown, and when Accetta threw the first Meet Me Downtown 5k there were 400 people.
Not only do our local charities benefit from this event, SAR also gives out $4,000 in prize money and incentives for RRCA members who qualify for top-5 prize money and if they break course records. Accetta is keeping his eye on Maggie Callahan, former U of A stand out, coming in from Boulder, Colorado to be one of the top female contenders.
Participants, friends and family members who aren’t RRCA members get to enjoy all of the extras that make this event special. Fans and onlookers will enjoy music by local sensation LeeAnne Savage and the Cosmic Cowboys. This is the fourth year Savage’s band is performing at the event. “I love Randy Accetta from SAR and the visibility Downtown gets from this event,” Savage says. “He has stayed true to his mission in getting people from the metro area into the Downtown area.”
The 3rd Annual Running Race Round Up will be on site throughout Armory Park featuring local food and drink vendors for lots of yummy options. Take advantage of the photo booth for fun, funky pictures with your group.
The Children’s Museum will offer free entry during Saturday afternoon and into the evening, and TMC and the Children’s Museum will host play activities in museum grounds. In addition, Cox Communications will provide Jumping Castles, and The Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club will provide games.
TMC is the title sponsor & primary funder for the event, and without sponsor dollars from TMC and others such as Cox Communications, the event would not be possible, according to Accetta.
Registration for the race can be completed on-line at www.active.com, through the mail by printing a form from www.azroadrunners.org, or in person at The Running Shop at 3055 N. Campbell Ave. on Friday 5/29 from 6-7:30pm for a wine and cheese happy hour, and again on Saturday 5/30 from 10am to 1pm. You can also register on-site the day of the race from 4:30-6:30pm in front of the Children’s Museum. There are team discounts, and advanced registration discounts. Tee-shirts are included while supplies last, and children under 12 are free.
Local Organizations that will benefit from TMC Meet Me Downtown Night Run:
Tucson Children’s Museum
Living Streets Alliance
Educational Enrichment Foundation
Greater Tucson Leadership
My TEAM TRIUMPH
Southern Arizona Roadrunners
Child and Family Resources, beneficiary of the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown
Accetta started Meet Me Downtown nine years ago because he wanted to inspire a functional city center. Through SAR he is committed to community building and education and feels that Downtown Tucson is a city core essential to community just as running and walking is essential to human the human core. His ideology inspired many Meet Me events such as Meet Me at Maynard’s, Meet Me at La Encantada, and the recently created Meet Me Downtown Phoenix.