Runners of all caliber are invited to participate in the 2nd Annual Bobbaroo 5K Run next Saturday, August 30.
The inaugural run was held last year in memory of Robert J. “Bobby” Clifford and organized by his mother, Wendy E. Connors of Sagamore Beach. Mr. Clifford was killed in a highway accident in October 2011. He died when the car in which he was a passenger hit a tractor trailer parked on the side of Interstate 95 in East Lyme, Connecticut. He was 25 years old.
Ms. Connors said that a year to the day after her son’s death, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She said that just last week, she was given the good news from doctors at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston that she is clear of the disease.
“That’s a huge weight lifted off my shoulders,” she said.
She said that organizing the annual run is “the most exhausting but gratifying experience in my life.”
“I can’t put in words how it feels that it’s done in my son’s name,” she said.
Mr. Clifford earned an associate’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture, where he was continuing his education and working as a tutor at the time of his death. Ms. Connors said that the funds from the Bobbaroo 5K Run provide scholarships for graduating seniors from Bourne High School and Plymouth South High School who show an interest in agriculture. Some of the money raised also funds a tutoring program named after her son at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture.
Ms. Connors said that last year the event raised enough money that they could give $1,000 scholarships to each high school and $250 to her son’s alma mater.
The name of the event comes from an annual Tennessee music festival that Mr. Clifford used to attend, the Bonnaroo, a four-day gala featuring top musical performers.
Last year, 140 runners took part. With 75 already registered for this year’s event, Ms. Connors said she expects 175 to 200 runners. She said that even walkers are invited to sign up.
“I have many people say to me, ‘I can’t run, can I just walk?’ and I tell them ‘absolutely!’ ” she said.
Ms. Connors said that this year’s race is being sanctioned by USA Track & Field. She said it will also have more of a “festival atmosphere” with lots of food (chowder from the Lobster Trap, ice cream and pizza) music, and raffles. There are also more national sponsors attached to the race this year, including ClifBar energy bars, Pepsi-Cola and Marathon Sports.
“A lot of people have come forward. It’s very exciting,” she said.
Anyone interested in running can register either online or the day of the race. Check-in that day is 9 AM and the start of the race is scheduled for 10 AM, Ms. Connors said.
The cost to runners who register online is $25, and the deadline for online registration is Wednesday, August 28. The cost to runners who register the day of the race is $30.
To register online, go to the Bobby Clifford Memorial Fund page at Facebook and follow the link provided there, or go to www.coolrunning.com and search for Sagamore Beach Bobbaroo 5K.
Ms. Connors said her wish is for the annual race to continue to grow so it can further benefit the community.
“Hopefully it gets bigger and bigger and we can give more scholarships; that would be awesome,” she said.