UPDATE: The new website for the Route 66 Race to the Rocker is www.racetotherocker.com.
March 22, 2014, (9:00 am Rain or Shine) creates race fever as the community prepares for a yearly event that brings out hundreds for the four-mile race that shuts down both lanes of Route 66 and raises 1000s for the fitness of Cuba kids. Last year, the 6th annual Route 66 Race to the Rocker brought in over $20,000 for Cuba’s kids. Close to 1000 racers pounded the Route 66 pavement .
The race begins in Cuba, MO’s historic mural district in front of 3rd Generation Salon and ends at the site of the World’s Largest Rocking Chair at the Fanning Route 66 Outpost General Store. The race is unique for its Route 66 route and its finish line. The goal for every participant of whatever age is to make that last bend of the race and see the massive rocker on the horizon.
Hayes Shoe Store has a rush for new tennis shoes. The walkers and runners hit the street in preparation for the race. All ages take part. The oldest runner was eighty and the youngest only one. Yes, you can use a stroller if you stay toward the back when the race starts.
The organizing group JOG,inc. and Race Director Brad Austin begin planning the next year’s race as soon as the current one is over. Committees form to take care of the myriad of details involved in the Friday night Expo and Spaghetti Dinner. The Saturday race must be well-organized and coordinated with Big River Running. Registration has to flow smoothly.
The race also garners attention for the town. Rural Missouri Magazine featured the Rocker on its cover and profiled the town on the inside cover of its March issue. Jim McCarty’s photo of the rocker is enough to make other racees green with envy.
AAA’s March/April Midwest Traveler Magazine also covered the race and our town in its article “Show Me the Mother Road” by Deborah Reinhardt.
In her article Reinhardt has this to say about Cuba:
A short drive west from Stanton brings you to Cuba, an interesting town with an impressive collection of outdoor murals, some devoted to Route 66. If you’re in town on March 22, you’ll likely see runners participating in the annual Race to the Rocker. The world’s largest rocking chair–according to the Guinness Book of World Records–is in Cuba. You’ll also find the restored Wagon Wheel Motel, 901 E. Washington. Several restaurants, including Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q, are in town and well worth sampling.