Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Aug. 9, 2022

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Operation Warm Heart assists those who struggle to pay heating bills

By , Columbian staff writer
2 Photos
Runners start the 10k race during Clark Public Utilities’ annual Race for Warmth in 2017. The run raises money to help people struggling to pay their heating bills.
Runners start the 10k race during Clark Public Utilities’ annual Race for Warmth in 2017. The run raises money to help people struggling to pay their heating bills. The Columbian files photos Photo Gallery

Sometimes, in the middle of our wet, chilly winter, the real point of vigorous exercise is just to get yourself warm.

That’s definitely the point of Sunday’s fourth annual Race for Warmth, a charitable outing aimed at helping Clark County families in financial crisis pay their heating costs and stay toasty when the season is anything but. The event is hosted by Clark Public Utilities and its Operation Warm Heart, an entirely donor-funded program that has provided more than $2.5 million in assistance to about 12,000 customers since launching in 1985. The race itself has raised over $100,000 for Operation Warm Heart in the past three years.

Advance online registration ($30) is available until midnight today, and same-day registration ($40) is available at the Sunday event until 8:15 a.m. only. Advance registration gets you a long-sleeve performance T-shirt, which may no longer be available on race day.

According to Clark Public Utilities spokeswoman Erica Erland, business sponsorships have handled all the hard costs of staging the event, so all registration dollars will go directly to Operation Warm Heart and the heating bills of needy people.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to run outside on a cold Sunday morning and feel really good about it,” Erland said.

If You Go

What: Race for Warmth, 5K and 10K routes and a kids mini-race.

When: Kids race at 8:30 a.m., 10K at 9 a.m., 5K at 9:05 a.m., Sunday.

Where: Start and end at Clark Public Utilities, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver.

Cost: $30 in advance (until midnight today) online, or $40 at the event (until 8:15 a.m.).

Information: www.raceforwarmth.com

There are actually two races, a 10K run and a 5K run/walk, starting at 9 a.m. and 9:05 a.m., respectively, at the downtown Vancouver Clark Public Utilities building at 1200 Fort Vancouver Way. The 10K route heads out along the waterfront, then turns around and loops through downtown; the 5K route is just the downtown loop.

There’s also a free kids race beforehand, at 8:30 a.m., for ages 3 through 8. The kids route is a short, closed route in front of the CPU building.

A handful of water stations will be provided along the route, but no restrooms will be available other than portables in the CPU parking lot.

The CPU community room won’t be open, as it has been in previous years.

The three top male and female finishers in the 5K and 10K races will get medals as they cross the finish line, as well as public admiration during the afterparty that’s scheduled for the library office building directly across the street.

The afterparty will also feature snacks and adult beverages for registered participants.

The race officially closes at 11 a.m.

Tax-deductible donations to Operation Warm Heart are always welcome.

If you don’t want to run but do want to contribute, call CPU at 360-992-3000 or visit raceforwarmth.com and scroll down to “Sleep in to stay warm.”

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