Merritt Clubs’ 4th Annual Wish Race 5K moves to Marshy Point

Lace up your running (or walking) shoes on Saturday, June 8, for Merritt Clubs’ 4th Annual Wish Race 5K Run and Walk. This year, the race will be held at the scenic Marshy Point Nature Center for a 5K featuring both paved wooded pathways and trails. 100% of proceeds of the event will be donated to benefit Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic.

If a full 5K isn’t in your training plan, participants can enjoy the one-mile walk, or even participate in a drone-filmed Virtual 5K anytime, anywhere. Race director Andrew Lingelbach is excited about the change of scenery this year as the event moves to Marshy Point Nature Center in Middle River.

“A fresh space is always fun! In addition, Marshy Point is within our local chamber of commerce, and the location fulfilled a few budgetary needs,” said Lingelbach, who is a Fitness Engagement Team Leader at Merritt White Marsh.

Both the 5K and one-mile walk are located on the trails at Marshy Point. As always, all routes are stroller-friendly and accessible to all skill levels. The one-mile course is fully paved, while the 5K is about two miles of paved trail and a mile of extremely well maintained dirt path.

Lingelbach started the Wish Race 5K because as a young child, he battled childhood cancer like many of the Make-A-Wish kids. He is a survivor of retinoblastoma, a cancer that starts in the retina, the very back part of the eye. He went through the majority of his cancer treatment when he was 3 and 4 years old.

“Make-A-Wish helps kids who are essentially losing their childhood because they are dealing with their health, something that most people take for granted,” he said. “I want to reach out and help that group of kids who weren’t as fortunate as I was.”

Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The organization’s mission reflects the life-changing impact that a Make-A-Wish experience has on children, families and communities.

Tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters help make possible the Make-A-Wish vision to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes. Some wishes include meeting favorite celebrities or sports stars, going to Disney World or on other dream vacations, and having other experiences that they would never have had a chance to do otherwise.

Lingelbach said that although a handful of smaller sponsors stepped up to help out the event, including Homeland Environmental, Fava Fresh, Shaun’s Shenanigans and Mom’s Organic Market, there was no lead sponsor this year so race participation is extremely important.

“We are looking at a goal of $5,000 this year,” he said. “With no lead sponsor there were a few budgetary challenges that are still shaping up. If people would still like to donate, we will be taking donations through the month of June.”

New this year, the virtual 5K will be filmed ahead of time with Lingelbach’s drone on the actual course. This allows for people who can’t make it race day to still be able to participate and donate. They will also have a runner live stream the run with a go pro during the race. The virtual 5K and the go pro video will be available on the Facebook event page (

On race day, Merritt trainers will be on hand to warm up the crowd prior to the race, which participants can run or walk. There will also be post-race refreshments along with live entertainment. Also new this year are the tech shirts that participants of the 5K and one-mile walk will receive.

“We are excited to move away from cotton and move to a moisture-wicking tech shirt. They are colored ‘atomic blue,’ so they should be quite the sight to see,” said Lingelbach.

Participants can register in person at the front desk at the Merritt Club in White Marsh, on, or on the morning of the race. Fees are $25 for the 5K; $20 for the one-mile walk; and $10 for the virtual 5K.

“We are really excited about this year’s 5K and hope that everyone can come out and support Make-A-Wish,” added Lingelbach. “The organization really does make a huge impact on children and families who are going through extremely difficult times. And even if you can’t participate on June 8, you can always sign up for the virtual 5K and still support the cause.”

The wish granters create an unforgettable experience driven by the child’s creativity. They strive to personalize each wish and to make it match the wish kid’s idea of a perfect day.

Make-A-Wish is only able to create life-changing wish experiences with help from dedicated staff, volunteers, donors and other supporters, like those who will participate in the Wish Race 5K.

To register, go to For more information, contact Andrew Lingelbach at 410-773-9007 or at

Merritt Athletic Clubs’ 4th Annual Wish Race 5K: 9 a.m. Saturday, June 8, 2019

Marshy Point Nature Center, 7130 Marshy Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21220

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