An active member of the running community and experienced local coach, Chaz Koch is providing his inside scoop on the new Rocky Neck Relay event. Chaz is also part of Operation Paws on the Ground, the event charity partner and a wonderful local cause to get to know!
|By Bjturon - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,|
Rocky Neck State Park is built to hold relay and endurance style events and I could not think of a better way to highlight all the park has to offer than HMF’s Rocky Neck Relay.
The main loop around the perimeter of the park and campgrounds is approximately 2.5 miles and offers every type of scenery you could ask for. The blend of road and trail routes is a unique quality, for every mile of road to enjoy there’s an equally beautiful, peaceful section of trail.
The road loop is paved and well maintained. The trails offer twists and turns that keep you focused on your surroundings while traversing the landscape. Gentle rollers and ocean breeze set the scene for the countless species of wildlife you can encounter along the trails.
|By Carole J. Buckwalter - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0|
You’ll have the chance to cheer on teammates and other competitors from multiple spots on the course. Or you can take a break and go dip your toes in the water!
How does Operation Paws on the Ground benefit the local community and how can participants get involved?
On average in the US, 22 veterans commit suicide and over 1,800 dogs are euthanized daily. Both of those statistics are absolutely unnerving.
The mission of Operation Paws on the Ground (OPOG) is to help create healing bonds between veterans and rescues, ultimately saving one veteran, one dog and healing 2 hearts at a time. As a veteran and rescue parent, Operation Paws on the Ground speaks to me on a number of levels. I have experienced firsthand the healing and the bond that takes place between vets and dogs that have been through a trauma.
It costs approximately $3,000 for Operation Paws on the Ground to pair a veteran and rescue dog. We are asking teams to fundraise a minimum of $500 to help sponsor future pairings - for every 6 teams that meets the goal, we can bring another veteran and rescue together to help each other heal.
On top of being part of that important journey, teams that fundraise $500 or more will receive a custom OPOG hoodie for each member.
Check back for video previews and more to come on the Rocky Neck Relay courses soon! Secure a spot for you or your team now at Rocky Neck Relay.