Annual Late September Race Becoming a Huge Hit with Runners and Spectators, Alike!

October 27, 2018

For more information, please click here for the Piggyback Dash website.

Enjoy a beautiful, rolling course through the streets of Union with a challenging but rewarding finish at the top of Autumn Hill. The 10K and 5K are timed events and medals will be awarded. The 1 mile fun run/walk is not be officially timed and no medals will be provided.

As an added twist, once runners reach the bottom of Autumn Hill they have the opportunity to carry someone piggyback up the hill to the finish line. This is completely voluntary. In no way is the piggyback portion required in order to finish. It doesn’t matter who the person on your back is. They do not have to be a registered participant. Runners who do choose to carry someone piggyback up Autumn Hill will receive an extra piece of finisher swag.

Why the Name?

Throughout high school, Lance and friends would run almost everyday after dismissal. He routinely ran up Autumn Hill, sometimes more than once per run. Lance loved the hill and the challenge it presented. He never complained about it. Rather, his was the voice of encouragement for others to rise to the challenge. In fact, he is the first person we know of to carry someone piggyback up the hill. Hence the race name, The Piggyback Dash.

Why We Do It…

May 13, 2018, UHS Scholarship Night. Pictured from left: scholarship recipients Kennedy Reeser, Rachel Clark, Alexis Garlock, Derek Foster, and race director/honorary board member Nick Hoeing.

In only its first year, the Lance Purschke Piggyback Dash was able to raise enough to send four Union graduates to college with a $1000 scholarship each!

According to race founder and director, Nick Hoeing, this is the most meaningful way he knows to honor the memory of a friend and inspirational alumnus of Union High School. And the format of the event is just the perfect way to capture the spirit in which Lance continually pushed others to become the best they could be.

For more information about the race, make sure to visit the official race sign-up site at