First Ever “Run the Bases 5k/10k” to Benefit Build Our Ballpark

Posted by on Jul 31 in News

Cedar Valley SportsPlex Hosts Event to Support Ballpark Projects

WATERLOO, IOWA (July 31, 2014) – One local nonprofit hopes to hit a grand slam with a brand new 5K/10K because of the cause behind it and the unique twist they’re adding.

The first-ever Run the Bases 5K/10K will be hosted by the Cedar Valley SportsPlex on Saturday, August 16. All proceeds will benefit Build Our Ballpark.

Build Our Ballpark, founded in 2008, has helped build or renovate 15 youth baseball and softball fields across Waterloo, and is now working on projects in neighboring communities including Alden and Parkersburg. They have also helped make Youth Baseball Softball Day (May 19) an official state holiday, recognize local coaches with the annual Coaches of the Year awards, and sponsor a RAGBRAI team (Team BOB) to raise awareness and funds across the state.

“To rebuild our resources after some major projects, we wanted to do something creative that tied baseball and running together,” said Build Our Ballpark Executive Director Bob Hellman. “It wasn’t hard for me to get excited about this because baseball and running are two of my biggest passions.”

Incorporating the baseball theme into the event, runners will literally touch the bases along the course and pass cheering sections of fans rooting them on.

“We’ll have giant bases along the routes so the runners really get to ‘Run the Bases!’” Hellman said. “And fans doing the wave is a game day must-have.”

Perhaps most exciting to Hellman is that the 5K and 10K routes include passing through Build Our Ballpark’s crown jewel, Riverfront Sports Park.

“We helped renovate the eight fields and other amenities there, and the comments and traffic garnered from that renovation have been simply astounding,” he said. “If you love running or baseball, or you’ve enjoyed any of the ballparks that Build Our Ballpark has renovated, this is your chance to have some fun and support what we do.”

Mark Gallagher, sports manager for Waterloo Leisure Services, agrees.

“Build Our Ballpark has done amazing things for us, especially with Riverfront Sports Park,” he said. “We can proudly host tournaments all summer, and youth participation is up more than 30 percent since this group was founded. It only makes sense that our race route includes some ball fields to reiterate what has been accomplished.”

The Cedar Valley SportsPlex, home of the Leisure Services offices, will host the event from start to finish. Registration materials can be picked up there, and participants will check in at the SportsPlex on the morning of the race.

To include athletes of all levels, there will be a mile-long Fun Run at 8 a.m. for kids and families near Young Arena. Then the 5K and 10K races will take off simultaneously at 8:30 a.m. near the SportsPlex. Route maps can be found at

Back inside the SportsPlex, sponsors like Hy-Vee and Starbucks will hand out refreshments and give away raffle prizes. The Blue Zones Project will have volunteers on the indoor turf, leading activities for kids – an added bonus for parents who want to run but don’t have a babysitter.

The awards ceremony will also take place inside the SportsPlex, including some hefty prizes. The first place overall winners (male and female) for both the 5K and 10K will receive a trophy and $300 in cash and prizes. Second place earns $150 in cash and prizes, and third place earns $50 in cash and prizes.

There will also be medals for the top three males and females in each of the 10 age groups, and all Fun Run participants will receive a certificate.

Registration can be completed at for a small fee, or in person at the SportsPlex for no additional fee. The Fun Run cost is $15, the 5K cost is $25, and the 10K cost is $35. T-shirts for those who missed the July 31 deadline will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on race day.

Additional sponsors for the event include Underground Grafix, the WCF Courier, KXEL 1540 AM, Mike Fereday Heating & Air Conditioning, The Runner’s Flat, The Cedar Valley Sports Commission, American Infrastructure, and donations from family and friends of Build Our Ballpark.

“We’ve received a lot of support from many great businesses and individuals,” said Hellman. “We expect a great turnout that will help us grow this into a major annual event.”

To learn more about the event and to register, visit

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