BEXLEY, Ohio (WCMH) — Hundreds gathered for the 16th and final running of the Jack Roth Rock ‘N’ Run in Bexley Sunday morning.
The race was back in-person for the first time in two years with the pandemic forcing organizers to cancel or hold virtual events.
This year was different though. Janice, Jack’s wife, passed back in 2019. The race ending for that reason.
“It’s been a good run,” said Alyssa Shenk. She’s one of the organizers and family members of Jack Roth, “we knew it would have to come to a close.”
The annual event drew nearly 500 people according to race organizers and raised thousands of dollars for lung cancer research.
$1.5 million have been raised for The Jack Roth Fund, the Jack Roth Camp Netaim-Ramah Noam, a program in Israel to benefit children with special needs, and this year for the Janice Roth Education fund at the Jewish Community Center.
Along with the usual 5K run was a shorter race called “Max’s Track Dash” in honor of Jack’s relative who died of SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood).
Race organizers say they’ll donate money to raise awareness for SUDC as well as continue their current donations to lung cancer research.
“It’s emotional because I see my dad’s face everywhere on these t-shirts.” said Maren Roth, Jack’s daughter and the founder of the run.
“It’s emotional because friends and family won’t be coming in for it anymore and it was such an anchor every year for people to come and get together.”