In 2000, Jim Bush ran his first marathon, the Chicago Marathon, and wished Evansville could offer a similar experience, so he created a St. Patrick’s Day run at Tri-State Athletic Club, now the Run of Luck 7K.
Ten years later, the Evansville native and graduate of Bosse High School and the University of Southern Indiana began Rise Up and Run to create and organize running events, time races, and partner with organizations and nonprofits to raise awareness about causes in the community.
“I want to bring some of that to Evansville and the area — a big city look and feel in our community,” he says. “I think we deserve that. I think that’s raising the bar of what an event looks like.”
Last year, Rise Up and Run organized 83 events, raising more than $39,650 for issues like cancer, animals, and children’s causes. Outside of running, Bush also produces events like wiffle ball tournaments and bar golf.
“I help organize permits, the routes, how the event flows,” says Bush. “Being a for-profit company in a nonprofit world is challenging, because everyone wants every bit of that money to go toward the cause. We’re really trying to help people grow their event to its potential.”
One of Rise Up and Run’s largest events is the Turkey Day 5K in support of the Goodwill Family Center, growing from 1,000 to 3,000 participants. Bush says Thanksgiving is the top running day of the year, featuring more runs countrywide with more people participating than any other day of the year. That, he says, is the key to the events — to focus not on the activity itself but on the cause and people who care about it.
“It’s not just what run you’re doing or the distance you’re doing,” says Bush. “It’s not just a cause now, it’s coming together with friends and family.”
For more information about Rise Up and Run, visit riseupandrun.com.