In 2017 the Rev. Bill Dobos, then 58, ran a full 26-mile marathon to raise funds that bolstered the Weston Food Pantry’s ability to assist those in need. The pastor of Weston Community Church and pantry’s assistant manager, Bill’s efforts on Sept. 30 that year raised at least $1,925.20.
Bill, who will be 60 on race day, plans to run the distance again, said son Jeremy Dobos, but this time with some changes in mileage and opportunities for others. Jeremy grew up in Weston and with wife Stepanie Dobos now lives in Walla Walla.
To pantry manager Greg Phillips’ query if the pantry fundraiser could be made annual and open to the public, the answer is a resounding yes.
“We ultimately decided that a marathon wasn’t logistically a great idea and chose instead to do a half marathon. However, 13 miles is a lot for most folks so we also chose to include a 5K alternative that people can walk. Both courses will follow a portion of the original marathon course,” Jeremy said.
For the Sept. 21 event that begins and ends in Weston City Park, 301 S. Water St., the 5K/3.1-mile out-and-back race is mostly on a flat course.
The half marathon, a run-only event, starts the same, but heads into rolling gravel hills. “Not an easy course, but definitely a fun one,” Jeremy said.
Race-day bib pickup and race-day registration — cash/check only — starts at 7:30 a.m. The half marathon starts at 8:30 and the 5K follows at 9 a.m. Participants are expected to finish by 11:30 a.m.
“In an effort to be as inclusive as possible we kept the entry fees very affordable,” Jeremy said. Jeremy plans to keep the event running smoothly while Stephanie tackles the half marathon.
The Food Run 5K sign-up is $20 and the half-marathon is $30. Registering online at ubne.ws/2YPm08h before the race saves $5. This is where maps, elevation, training plans and more details about the courses are, too, and see more at Facebook, ubne.ws/3003Htm.
There is no charge for kids ages 10 and younger when accompanied by a registered adult. Registration online ends at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 20.
“We love our furry friends, but please leave pets at home for this one,” The Food Run website at ubne.ws/2YPm08h also notes.
For Bill’s previous marathon, Jeremy said folks lined up throughout the course to surprise him with water, Gatorade and high-fives.
For those who wish to support the cause but not run, donations may be made to Weston Community Food Bank, P.O. Box 100, Weston, OR 97886.