Thursday, February 22, 2024

Race the Rock Coronado, a Unique Fundraising Event – May 20

All 50 team spots have been reserved for the May 20 event, but tickets for the after party as well as sponsorship opportunities are available as of press time.


Two queens are coming together for one amazing fundraiser! Liz Merrill was highlighted in our Queens of Crown City last March for her passion for fitness and the well being of children. Michelle Gilmore, our most recent spotlight, was nominated for her work at Coronado Schools Foundation with their motto “it’s all about the kids!” With students front and center, this out of the box fundraiser is ready to race to new heights.

An Idea is Born

Liz, owner of Sweat Circuit, shares how this event has been years in the making. Avid lovers of the CBS show The Amazing Race, Liz convinced her husband Nick they should try out for the show. An hour and a half drive, multiple hours waiting in line, and a whopping 60 seconds to make their case, the couple never heard back. While others may have felt defeated at this, Liz had a different outlook. “Fine, I’ll make my own,” she recalls telling Nick. So Liz did. She created an entire course and adventure in Seattle with 40 couples. The response she received from the event was, “this is the most fun I have had with my spouse!”

In 2017, Liz and Nick moved to Coronado and opened up their second Sweat Circuit. Liz shares, “the second I got to Coronado I knew it would be the perfect place for this event.” Quick friends, Liz approached Michelle with the idea. Michelle, who has literally written a book titled Eventology: The Science of Nonprofit Fundraising, was supportive of the idea. Between growing Sweat Circuit to four locations and a pandemic, Liz took her time to bringing her plans to fruition. In November 2022, Liz assembled a committee and called Michelle with the news, “we are doing it!

Liz and Michelle introducing the event at Nicky Rottens.

Race the Rock Coronado

On May 20, 2023, fifty teams of two will embark on a race around Coronado, completing the ultimate scavenger hunt. At every destination, each team will complete a series of challenges, both physical and mental. Following the adventure, an awards and after party will be hosted at Nicky Rottens.

The interest in participation has been high, already selling out tickets for all 50 team spots. Liz shares, “we wanted to keep it small this year. It is really important to execute the event well.” Overall race winners, the fundraising winners, winners of best costume, and winners of best team name will all earn incredible prizes!

While the team spots have sold out, tickets for the after party are still available for purchase. In addition, several sponsor opportunities are available. The race will highlight sponsors with their own flag at different challenges. The Race the Rock social media and affiliated webpages will also promote sponsors. As Liz promises, “we will hype the heck out of them!” Currently, Nicky Rottens and Park Life Real Estate have been announced as sponsors.

This event will benefit Coronado Schools Foundation, Islander Sports Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego. Liz shares her reason for orchestrating the fundraising event, “I want to create a unique way to give back to the kids and highlight the island, in particular the local businesses.” On behalf of CFC, Michelle says, “We are so thankful to be the beneficiary of the inaugural Race the Rock event. Liz and Nick Merrill are such great ambassadors for Coronado’s youth and we appreciate their outstanding support.”

Follow along with Race the Rock on Instagram and check out all the details on their website.


Alyssa K. Burns
Alyssa K. Burns
Alyssa is a graduate of Coronado High School and was in the founding broadcast journalism class at CHS. She earned her BA in Communication from CSU East Bay and completed her MBA from CSU San Marcos. Her passion for writing and interest in the behind the scenes of business, leads her to write frequently about Coronado businesses. You can find Alyssa walking around the ferry landing with her husband and shih-tzu terrier or enjoying a cup of coffee at one of Coronado's favorite cafes.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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