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East Rockaway Education Foundation postpones annual 5K to May amid coronavirus

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For the fifth year in a row, the East Rockaway Education Foundation will host its 5K run or walk, but for the first time, it will not be in March.

Because of coronavirus concerns, the event was postponed from March 28 to May 30 at 8:30 a.m. Funds from the outing will help teachers enhance learning in their classrooms.

“This is our largest fundraiser, which allows teachers to be creative by starting a club or doing a project,” EREF President Dan Caracciolo said. “Teachers can fill out a form and the sky’s the limit to how they can approach a project, club, assembly or new furniture in the classrooms.”  

In previous years, the race comprised a 5K run and a walk. However, in order to bring something new to the event this year, there will also be a one-mile timed run or walk. The race will begin south of Main Street, in Bay Park, at Althouse Avenue and Front Street, and it will continue in a 3.1-mile loop on the south side of the village.

“We are excited to kick off the spring with this race, which tends to get competitive,” Caracciolo said, noting that the outing has special meaning to him and that the foundation spends a large part of October through January preparing for the race. “I’m an alumni and I was an active member of East Rockaway High School clubs and projects. My two daughters are currently in the school system, so these are the things that inspired me to get involved in the race.”

Though the physical run was postponed until May, participants can still be active through a virtual option, which encourages runners to go for a run on their own or with friends and family anytime from March 28 on. After that, they can visit bit.ly/2xioIWK, search for their name, click update, enter their time and upload a selfie/or picture.

A total of 230 runners registered for the race last year and for this year, 85 runners are now registered. Last year, the foundation raised $700, and this year as a goal, Caracciolo said he hopes to raise $10,000. 

For 2020, the prices for the 5K race are $20 for adults and $12 for anyone 18 and under. For the one-mile timed race, the price is $15 for adults and $10 for anyone 18 and under. 

Though the coronavirus pandemic has caused an issue globally, Caracciolo said the foundation is determined to host the race, and that he was hopeful the issue will be curtailed by the newly scheduled race day. He added that there would be refunds available to runners who paid for the 5K if the race is cancelled.

“We will seek Nassau County Police Department recommendations for anything regarding the coronavirus a week before the event,” he said. “We will reach out, and at this point, I don’t know what to expect.”  

For more information, or to donate, visit info@eastrockawayedfoundation.org. To register for the 5K or learn more about the virtual race, visit bit.ly/39hHcnz.