2021 Jackrabbit Jog brings the community together for important cause

BOWLING GREEN Ky.- The 6th annual Jackrabbit Jog 5K run and walk took place at Kerieakes Park Monday morning. Event Organizer, Ryan Dearbone, says there’s nothing like being back, especially since last year’s event was virtual.

“There’s something about being live and in-person with people who have come run the race for years, as well as people who are just discovering the race. It’s great to have that energy,” Dearbone said.

Energy that is being used to raise money and awareness for polycystic kidney disease, also known as PKD. Dearbone’s mother, grandfather, and uncle have passed away from the disease, while his cousin is currently living with it. For these reasons, Dearbone says this race is personal to him.

“It’s been a goal of mine ever since I’ve become aware of the disease, to raise money and awareness,” Dearbone said.

Participants call it the best of both worlds to not only run for personal health, but also to help support in the fight against PKD.

“Running together in a live race, seeing our other friends, and a good cause. This is a great cause, we like supporting it, supporting Ryan, and just being out in the community,” said participant Kim Harold.

Racers were determined to hit the track no matter what obstacles were in the way.

“Back in December, I found out I had colon cancer. I’m finishing round 2 of my chemo today, and my first non-virtual 5K. I feel like if I can get out here and do this, it gives everybody encouragement,” said participant Beth Cunningham.

A team effort to end PKD, one step at a time.

“Everybody has been so kind and generous, and it fills my heart. I know if my mom and family members who have passed were alive right now, they’d be so thankful and grateful. It’s just a beautiful thing, and I thank the community, and I pray the community will always support this race,” Dearbone said.