Northeast Ohio harbors some of the country's most beautiful trails and also hosts runners with big hearts who care about their community. Several race directors with a similar vision have come together to form a partnership to provide non-profit first rate low cost or free trail racing experiences, while organizing efforts giving back to our communities in need.
Running Forward and Giving Back is a non-profit 501c3 organization consisting of multiple NE Ohio trail races which share a mission to support runners, our precious parks, and local individuals or small organizations who require a helping hand.
Give more than you take
Our races in 2019 collectively raised nearly 50 thousand dollars for the following local charities
Edwins Restaurant Institute
East Cleveland Park Association
Bath Nature Preserve
Willoughby Recreational Baseball
Friends of Crowell Hilaka
Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition
Every penny will go to charity
Emily has won numerous 24 hour ultra endurance events and top finishes in several 100 mile races. She ran 123 miles at North Coast 24 and recently completed the Spartathalon in 2019. Emily cares greatly about NE Ohio runners and especially the park and natural surroundings we all appreciate. She leads a non profit environmental organization. 2020 Emily will co direct The Canal Corridor 100.
Mike has been entrenched in the Northeast Ohio ultra running community for two decades. He has taken care of thousands of runners through his Aid Station Captain efforts in local 100 mile races. Mike just simply knows what runners need. This year Mike is creating a new 24 hour race on Cleveland's Westside called Keep on Trucking'
Race director Rich Schlenk is leading the Doan Creek Trail Race into its 6th year. His races have raised $35k for local community needs while organizing environmental clean up efforts to improve urban city trails. Rich has run in over 40 ultra marathons.
Kristie Sievers is an finisher of multiple 100 miler marathons and the 2019 Lakeshore Mini Ultra was her first as a race director and raised over 7K for the Herron Project. She then went on to host the WB5K which benefits kids who play baseball with special needs. She is motivated to create first rate all inclusive running experiences that gives back to the community.
Jim is a running veteran of some of the most difficult 100 ultra events in the country. However he is rooted in a passion for local urban trails and the NE Ohio community. Jim knows what runners want and is lead Race Director role at The Forgotten, which raised $7.5 K for charity in 2019.
Local ultra marathon legend of over seventy 100 mile finishes, Roy Heger understands runners and what makes them tick. He was the Race Director for Buzzard Day, Run with Scissors and co-Race Director of Canal Corridor. Roy is the founder of Run to Share, a non profit organization that helps local people in need. Roy never quits and his mantra is "relentless forward progress".
Ultra marathoner for 20 years and Western States finisher, Wild Bill is known by nearly every trail runner in NE Ohio. He was the Race Director Bill's Bad Ass 50k, which completed its 10th and final event. Through his races thousands of dollars have been raised from runners for local small organizations in great need. Wild Bill was also the co-Race Director of Canal Corridor. His mantra is "adapt and overcome". Bill cofounded RFGB.