VIDEO: U of Akron Student Founds 5K

VIDEO: U of Akron Student Founds 5K
Runners of Cleveland Unite! Help Two Area Students Memorialize Friend

Steven “Dobi” Dobranetski loved to run. The young man who grew up in Rayland, Ohio was known by his teammates for his bright spirit and passion for cross country. They still trade stories of his many exploits on the track, including the most famous, where he lost his shoes in deep mud, but continued on for nearly two miles to finish the race barefoot. Steven left this world far too young in 2008, but his memory lives on in the minds of his teammates, family and friends. He made such an impact on the lives of others that two of his teammates, University of Akron student Sean Tuttle and Kent State University student Jonathan Tomolonis, decided to create a 5K race in his memory. The two young men have been working tirelessly to coordinate the event, find sponsors, gather donations and to build a race that is worthy of their friend Steven.

“This is a runner’s race,” says Sean Tuttle in this exclusive video. “The race has been created in memory of our friend Steven, who loved to run. In addition to friends and family, we hope to attract runners from all over Ohio, and especially from the Cleveland, Akron and Kent areas where my co-founder Jonathan and I have made our home during college,” he says. “Our goal is to gather as many people who love to run in order to remember Steven and to raise as much money for future runners as we can.” Proceeds from the race will be donated to Steven’s team, the cross country team at Buckeye Local High School in Rayland. “In addition,” says Tuttle, “we will be creating a memorial scholarship for one senior student.”

Runners, unite! Then head to the Steven Dobranetski Memorial Scholarship 5K Run & Walk on Sat 7/30 at Buckeye Local High School in Rayland, Ohio. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the run kicks off at 11 a.m. Entrants will receive a commemorative wristband, fruit, and a bottled water following the race. For more information, and to register visit

For runners and other kind souls who cannot attend the race, but who would like to show their support by donating, please visit the 5K’s website and contact Sean Tuttle, who can help you with your donation. In addition to the race activities, participants are welcome to bring flowers, cards and signs to lay in front of the Dobranetski household, which lies upon the course’s path. “We will never forget Steven,” says Tuttle, “and we hope to share his memories and create a legacy in his name that will benefit runners far into the future.” Tuttle and Tomolonis intend to make this year’s 5K the first of many.

The Steven Dobranetski Memorial Scholarship 5K Walk and Run is Sat 7/30 @ Buckeye Local High School 10692 State Highway 150, Rayland, Ohio 43943. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the run begins at 11 a.m. Individual registration is $15 and team registration is $50. For a registration form, to donate, or to learn more, visit, or connect with the 5K on Facebook.

Watch the video here.


Julie Cajigas is a Cleveland girl who grew up on the East & West Side and now lives near Akron – she’s got the whole town covered. Cajigas holds degrees in Communication & Music from Cleveland State University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Communication at CSU.

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