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Leader of the Pack 5K

May 4, 2024 Forest City, NC 28043 US Directions
Presented by Chick-fil-A of Forest City


Student price only $10!!

Leader of the Pack 5K

($10: Ages 1 - 18)
8:30AM EDT - 10:30AM EDT Price increases after April 22, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT
Run where you are


($10: Ages 1 - 18)
Registration ends May 4, 2024 at 12:00pm EDT


Join us for the Leader of the Pack 5K run/walk - Saturday May 4, 2024 at the McNair Field in Forest City, NC.
The race will start at 8:30 a.m.

Not able to join the fun on race day? Sign up for the DIY (Virtual) 5K. You may choose to complete any run/walk course at your convenience.

Hosted by the Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation the 14th Annual 5K run/walk is a benefit for the RCSEF initiatives. 

Registration Rate & Dates:
Now until April 22, 2024 >> Adults: $25, Students [Age 18 & under]: $10
April 23, 2024 until Race Day (May 4, 2024)  >>Adults $30, Students [Age 18 & under]: $15

DIY 5K: Now until May 4, 2024 >> Adults $25, Students [Age 18 & under]: $10

**If you sign up after April 23, 2023 you will not be guaranteed a shirt on Race Day. You can still log in your shirt size, however, as we may have some left over after the race.**

Friday - May 3, 2024, 3:00-6:00 p.m. at McNair Field - McNair Dr. Forest City 

Race Day -  May 4, 2024, 6:00-8:20 a.m. at McNair Field - McNair Dr. Forest City

RACE START: 8:30 a.m. 

Award Ceremony: Approximately 9:45 a.m.

5K Awards:
Top Overall Male/Female (1st, 2nd, & 3rd) 
Top Masters [40+] Male/Female (1st, 2nd, & 3rd)) 
Age Group Awards (1st, 2nd,& 3rd)  Male/Female in the following age groups: 
0-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+

School Participation Awards
Trophies will be  awarded to the elementary, middle and high schools with the highest participation - School participation is based on runners present and checked in on the day of the race. Family members, staff, community members, etc. (not only students) count toward school participation if registered and checked in with their school affiliation. No school level awards will be determined by race times.
How to Join your School's Roster: During the registration process - click "Yes" for the "Are you currently a student?" at the bottom of the "Questions" page. Select your school from the list.       Please do not confuse this with the Community Cup Challenge program.

Community Cup Challenge

The RCS Education Foundation invites - no, CHALLENGES - local business and organizations to see who can get the largest group to register for Leader of the Pack 5K! The largest group will be awarded the Community Challenge Cup - a beautiful golden trophy to display proudly at your office, workplace, or club house. The coveted traveling trophy will be presented during the awards ceremony immediately following the 5K. Timing will NOT be a factor in the awarding of the Community Challenge Cup.

Recruit coworkers, challenge other organizations on social media, and have fun supporting our children and their education!

IMPORTANT: This is not where you add students or supporters for the School Participation Awards. Click "YES" for the "Are you currently a Student" question - then select your school. Please do not create a Group for you School on the Community Cup Challenge page.

Why We Run: Rutherford County Educational Foundation

  • The Leader of the Pack 5K is hosted by the Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation - check out their Mission Statement and Goals. This is why we run.
  • Organizational Mission:
  • Our mission is to enrich the educational experiences for our school communities. We know that our greatest asset is our children and youth. Our schools promote leadership and citizenship while preparing their students for success. The RCSEF is helping our schools be the most progressive in the state and nation.
  • Programs Supported By Your Contributions:
  • Mentoring: The goal of this program is to provide each student with a one-on-one mentorship outside the normal student/teacher relationship, thus resulting in better family relationships, grades, attendance, and behavior. We now have coordinators at every elementary school in the county and continue our great relationship with the McNair Foundation which provides mentors for our middle and high school students.
  • Backpack Program: The Back Pack program numbers continue to grow both in children served and the partners who make it happen. This program supplies enough food for the weekend for students in need. RCSEF serves as the facilitator for funding the program, while RCS facilitates any coordinating, training or support needed. The Back Pack Food Program is possible through a community effort with financial support coming mainly from faith groups, business, and local food groups.
  • Going G.L.O.B.A.L.: Rutherford County Schools is Growing Learning Opportunities Beyond All Limits. A key component of this project is a 1:1 technology initiative providing laptops to all students in grades 5 through 12, as well iPad carts for all classrooms in grades kindergarten through 4. RCSEF supports the school system in its efforts to prepare all students for college and career success by helping to eliminate any barriers that would prevent success.
  • Teacher Recognition: The RCSEF takes every opportunity to express our gratitude to our educators, both past and present, for choosing the profession of education. We have established the Rutherford County Schools Hall of Fame to recognize the outstanding work of teachers and leaders in our county, and have plans for further recognitions as funding allows.

Event Host








McNair Field
214 McNair Drive
Forest City, NC US 28043

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.

Rutherford Outdoor Coalition Running Race Series

The Leader of the Pack 5k is proud to be part of the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition Running Race Series.

The 2024 Series has 13 events running from February to December.

The series includes road races, trail runs, and even a hill climb.

Series details and current standings can be found at the ROC website.


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