“All are nonprofit organizations that are working to create affordable housing and making an impact in our community,” said co-race director Mark Lorenzoni, the owner of Ragged Mountain Running Shop, who also participates in Ryan’s UVA-Community Working Group. “This is 100% UVA’s gift back to the community.”
The run/walk, presented by the Charlottesville Track Club, began at 8 a.m. at the UVA Amphitheater. The 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) course wound through Grounds, across Beta Bridge and through the Venable and Westhaven neighborhoods, crossing several more bridges along the way.
The final stretch took participants up West Main Street and past the Rotunda before finishing at McCormick Road near Engineer’s Way.
In designing the course, Lorenzoni said the primary goal was to link the University with the bordering neighborhoods. The event is a visible representation of the University’s 2030 strategic plan, which calls for UVA to “be a strong partner with and good neighbor to the Charlottesville region.” The first Community Bridges 5K took place last fall in conjunction with Ryan’s formal inauguration as president.
“President Ryan and the University are committed to strengthening the relationships with their neighbors,” Lorenzoni said. “This event is a small, but symbolic, effort in staying true to that mission.”
The race concluded with a ceremony in which organizers awarded prizes to race participants – who ranged from kids to seniors – and checks to the four affordable housing groups.
“One of the overriding goals of the event is to celebrate community,” Lorenzoni said. “That’s the big thing.
“And supporting these organizations is an opportunity to help ensure there is safe, quality, affordable housing for all residents in the region.”
Take a look at some photos from the morning.