Saturday, July 13, 2024

2024 Race the Rock Coronado Kick Off Party March 21

Liz Merrill and Michelle Gilmore are back again with their wildly popular Race the Rock Coronado. Their inaugural event took place in May 2023 and raised $48,000 for Coronado Schools Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of San Diego. The 2024 event will take place on Saturday, May 4.

Race The Rock Kick Off Party March 21, 2024

The kickoff party will be at Nicky Rottens on March 21, 2024 from 5 to 6 pm. Grab a drink, sign up for the race, get the details on fundraising goals, and score your merch! While everyone who participated last year is invited, Race the Rock is truly for all. Come early to snag a spot or to enjoy the celebration! Liz describes the swag as “off the hook” this year. Liz credits Nicky Rottens, “They are truly our partner in crime. Isaac is underwriting the kickoff party and after party.”

Racing Teams

Last year’s event included 50 racing teams, a number that Liz felt comfortable repeating this year. “We feel like that’s enough traffic on the island. I want to be mindful of having everybody follow the traffic rules.”

The 50 teams, Liz predicts, will be made up of Coronado and Imperial Beach residents. “We want to keep it really local and a fun thing to do with friends and family. I’m not looking to grow the race.” Liz caveats, “I want to be clear it’s more of an event than a race. It’s a fun thing to do with your friend or your partner and have a good time! The challenges are silly and the whole spirit of this race. It’s about just enjoying the island, benefitting the community, and giving local businesses exposure.”

Tyler and Allie

Tyler Gilmore and Allie Crum were the fastest team to complete the race last year. Tyler shares, “Race the Rock was such a fun day! My favorite part about the event itself was how much the race brought together so many key aspects of Coronado. The people who participated and the ‘checkpoints’ we went through during the race were integral to the community. Another highlight of the course was winning the event with my now fiancée, Allie! We’ve been biking through the town for a few years now, so it was extra fun to be able to compete in that setting we already love so much.”

2024 Fundraising Goals

This year, Race the Rock has an ambitious goal of $100,000. A significant part of the money raised will equally benefit all four Coronado schools: Village Elementary, Silver Strand Elementary, Coronado Middle School and Coronado High School. The funds are not a general gift, but instead have a specific purpose. Liz elaborates, “this money is for educational field trips that students otherwise would not be able to go on.” In addition, an amount will also be set aside for both PAWS and Safe Harbor.

This year, Liz is encouraging the participants to fundraise. While last year’s funds were broader, this year pinpoints the benefactors and what those funds go to. “Safe Harbor has broken down how many hours of counseling a donation will provide. This goes to scholarships for people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford their services.” As for PAWS, “By reaching our goal we will provide 50 dogs food for the year!” Those goals will be shared further at the Race the Rock Kick Off Party. Liz’s local gym, Sweat Circuit, is underwriting the event.

Updates to Race the Rock 2024

Liz shares that there are all-new challenges and different spacing this year. “We learned a lot from last year which was our first year doing it. I think it was successful, but I also really listened to feedback and tried to incorporate it.”

One thing that will not change is Maia Hacker, CHS ’22 graduate, singing the Star-Spangled Banner. Liz gushes, “she has the most amazing voice! It was freaking amazing!”


First and foremost, Liz is most excited at the success of the costume contest, “I was blown away! The costumes were so creative. We were going to have one prize, but we ended up having to have three because they were so good!” As for this year’s prizes, Liz shares that they will have a prize for best costume, most fundraising, and then overall race winner.” She stresses that even though the winning team will receive a prize, that the goal is to have fun and raise money for the community.

2023 Winners:

Costume Winners Tom and Pat

First Place Race Completion: Tyler G. and Allie C.

Most Fundraising: Christian G. and Kim P.

Best Costumes:

  • Tom F. and Pat M.
  • Kara M. and Maggie W.
  • Courtney R. and Nelly R.

As Liz plans for another great fundraising event, she concludes, “I really hope the participants will jump on board and help us get to $100,000 to support the schools, Safe Harbor, and PAWS!”

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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