I’m not really one for receiving flowers or candy for Valentine’s Day. And jewelry? Just a waste of money that could go to a good cause. If you or a loved one feels the same way, consider giving the Sweetheart Run/Walk 5k as a gift this year.
The event will take place February 16 – perfect for those of you that forget until the last minute. The starting gun will fire at 9am on the levee behind Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. 2nd, just across the river in north Lawrence. You can sign up as an individual for $28 or a duo with your significant other for $50. Sign up online now at http://www.sportkc.org/sportkc.aspx?pgID=866&event_id=857. Prices will go up slightly on race day.
Included in the registration fee are a long sleeved t-shirt and finishers medal. Personally, that’s better than a box of candy for me any day. Best of all, the event benefits the Head for the Cure foundation. See more information about them at www.headforthecure.org.
Awards will be given to the top male, female and coed team finishers as well as the top three males and females in each five year age group. Packet pickup will take place Friday, February 15, 3-6 pm at Garry Gribbles, 839 Massachusetts in Lawrence. Race day registration and pickup will begin at 8:15 am.
You just never know what will happen at a run like this (see accompanying photo) so come on out for the fun.
Toys for Tots is raising awareness this season by teaming up with another holiday favorite – the ugly sweater. The streets of Downtown Lawrence will host the Ugly Sweater Run on Saturday, December 1 at 2:00 pm. You’ll already be downtown for the 20th Anniversary of the Old Fashioned Christmas Parade at 11 am so you might as well stick around for this!
The 5k event welcomes both runners and walkers. In fact, it’s meant to be in good fun so don’t expect any records to be set that day - unless its fastest hot chocolate chug during a 5k. Ouch.
The course will offer holiday music, snow machines, sledding and themed aide stations flowing with the aforementioned hot chocolate. It is suggested you wear an ugly holiday sweater and bring a new toy for donation to Toys for Tots.
Post “race” festivities include beverages (even the adult kind), awards such as best mustache, beard – and obviously sweater. All festivities, pre and post, will be located in Watson Park at 7th & Tennessee Street.
You can register online at http://www.active.com/5k-race/lawrence-ks/the-ugly-sweater-run---lawrence-2012?int=29-12. Solo and team sign-ups are welcome. Every participant gets a custom pint glass, Santa hat/reindeer hat, two free Winter Lagers courtesy of sponsor Sam Adams (21 and over, with ID) and a mustache. I guess it goes with the ugly sweater?!
If you’re interested in volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll still get drinks and a snazzy mustache.
For more information on the Toys for Tots program, see www.toysfortots.org/.
Don't feel guilty this Halloween because you inhale an entire bag of candy before you even have a chance to hand it out to eager children - just get out and run. Here are some local options for sweet fitness this year.
The Lawrence Trailhawks will host the 4th Annual Prowl, Howl and Growl on Friday, October 26, at Shelter One, Corps of Engineers Overlook Park, Clinton Lake State Park. Runners can gather with goodies beginning at 6:30 pm. The 4.5 mile trail run will begin at 7:30 pm. Costumes are strongly encouraged! For more details see lawrencetrailhawks.com.
The GaDuGi SafeCenter 2nd Annual Boo Run 5k will take place Sunday, October 28, on the Kansas river levee in North Lawrence. Be ready in costume by 8 am! Prizes will be given to top runners and best costumes. This is a great event for the entire family! See www.facebook.com/events/270422639725437/ for more details.
The Trail Nerds will host their Tick or Treat 5k trail run Saturday, October 27, at Wyandotte County Lake Park in Kansas City. The race begins at 6:30 pm. Candy provided at the finish line, but all treats welcome! There will also be a costume contest. For more information see www.psychowyco.com/tickortreat/.
Bodies Personal Training presents the 2nd Annual Halloween Hustle 5k and 10k Family Fun Run on Saturday, October 27 in Lees Summit, MO. Races begin at 8am. It is a bit longer drive, but worth it! Many activities, including a costume contest and other children's activities, take place throughout the morning. This event is part of the Healthy Holiday Fun Run Series that will also offer Thanksgiving and Christmas themed runs. For details see www.bodiespersonaltraining.com/halloween-hustle-5k-10k-run.html
Now get your hand out of that bag and put your running shoes on!
I’ve been asked over the years why I sign up for races. Why pay for something you can do for free? Here is my very simple answer. I run to feel good. If, in that process, I can help someone else feel better, then I’ve helped make the world a little better.
The upcoming StopGap 5k Run/Walk & Kids Run is the perfect example of such a chance to sweat to help others. StopGap Inc., founded by Justine Burton and located in Lawrence, is a nonprofit organization created to assist individuals aging-out of the foster care system in Douglas County.
Most individuals exiting foster care have psychological issues stemming from abuse, as well as little or no family support, job history or knowledge of how to help themselves in daily life. StopGap strives to address these problems. Their mission states -- To move youth from Dependence to Independence; To Engage, Encourage, Empower, Protect, Promote, Strengthen, and Support youth aging-out of foster care in Douglas County.
The first annual 5k event will start and finish at Haskell Indian Nations University on Saturday, May 26, at 8:00 a.m. Registration is currently $25 per person. You can sign up online at www.sportkc.org/sportkc.aspx?pgID=866&event_id=714. Race day registration will be $30.
Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers as well as 10 year age groups. Food and drink will also be provided at the finish.
There are also ways to help the organization beyond race day. StopGap is always accepting volunteers concerned with their cause. More information and an application can be found at www.stopgapincorporated.org/stopgap/index.php/donate/volunteer/. Donations are also always accepted if you choose to give directly to the organization.
Information on donating and more can be found at www.stopgapincorporated.org/stopgap/.
Cloudy skies, snarled traffic and porta-potty lines threatened a timely start of Saturday's Running With the Cows, but by 7:45 am (a mere 15 minute delay) the starting gun went off -- along with a large number of cowbells.
Running with the Cows is a benefit for the Queen of the Holy Rosary School in Bucyrus and consists of a half-marathon, 5k and kids fun run. Located about an hour from Lawrence, just off 69 Highway, the school served as race headquarters in an incredibly beautiful rural area. The race itself was on pavement, and as far as road races go, it proved to be one of my favorites.
Running past horses, cows and serene fields created a much more relaxed race environment than most urban runs. There was the occasional manure odor, but no worse than the car exhaust of city streets. And the students from the school that volunteer their time are very energetic and keep you pumped as each mile passes.
This year's race also served as the third and final race of the Heartland 39.3 Series. Runners who completed the Rock the Parkway half-marathon in Kansas City May 14 and the Kansas Half-Marathon in Lawrence April 22, received an additional medal Saturday as they completed Running with the Cows. Full results for the series will be available soon at www.heartland393.com.
The large number of Running with the Cows participants in 2012 – nearly 1,800 – is being partially credited to the inclusion of Cows in the Heartland 39.3 Series.
Megan Earney and Paul Hefferon won the overall female and male titles Saturday morning for Running with the Cows as well as becoming the overall winners of the Series. Megan won Saturday with a time of 1:26:21.8 while Paul crossed the line in 1:12:22.4. Paul won all three races of the series while Megan was second in Rock the Parkway and first in the following two. Cash prizes were awarded to the top six male and female series finishers.
A 5k race was also held Saturday. The female winner was Danielle Nagel in 20:30 and male winner was Rick Garey in 18:16.
Full results for the half-marathon and 5k can be found at: www.kcrunningcompany.com/results_photos.php
Beyond the impressive course, there was an amazing array of food waiting at the finish. Pizza, BBQ, chicken and a variety of other items from generous area restaurants was the perfect end to a wonderful morning.
I highly recommend this race to anyone looking to do their first half marathon. It’s low-key, fairly flat and simply more beautiful than most races. For veteran halfers, it’s a wonderful change of pace.
Ready to tackle something longer than a marathon? Did you even know there was something longer than a marathon? Or perhaps you’re mulling over signing up for your first trail run? The Rock-On, Lake Perry trail runs will give you the opportunity to prove just how tough you are.
On Saturday, May 12, Branded B Ranch at Lake Perry in Meriden, Kansas, will serve as the start and finish of the 2nd annual event. You have the choice of a 50k (if you want that beyond -marathon experience), a half marathon (it will feel & likely be longer than 13.1), or a 5k (perfect for beginners, but still challenging for all levels). If you decide on the 50k or half, be ready by 8am. The 5k will kick off at 9 am.
Always a hospitable and supportive bunch, the Trail Nerds that host the event guarantee a fun day. The lake views and cheers you receive will make up for any pain on the rocky, hilly trail!
It doesn’t hurt either, that all participants receive a shirt, mug and post-race meal. Half marathon & 50k finishers will also receive a heavy duty medal. And in these races, you aren’t just handed a medal and moved on through a chute – you shake hands with the director, Ben Holmes, and he’ll even pose for pictures with you and ask you about your experience on the course. You truly feel like you’ve accomplished something great whether you’re in first or last place.
Additionally, if you’ve never done a half marathon or longer race, you’ll learn about the all-important aid station. This course will have two well stocked stations offering food, drink and any aid you may need. All station staff members are a wonderful resource and experienced runners themselves. In addition to the staffed stations, there will be four unstaffed stations for drink refills. Your own hydration device is recommended so you can refill at these stations, as there will be no cups. Trailrunners aren’t fans of litter.
For sign-up and further information see lakeperrytrailruns.com.
Getting up early on Saturday for a run (or walk)? Wonderful! Running on the river levee? Fantastic! Running followed by a big breakfast? Well, that is just flat out awesome! The 23rd Annual Shamrock Shuffle 5K went off without a hitch March 10 thanks to beautiful weather, wonderful volunteers and 503 runners and walkers. The course itself, muddy and slippery in years past, was as clear as the weather. The announcer's bullhorn could be heard far across the river in downtown.
Entrants chose to wear green in many forms in honor of the St. Patrick's holiday. Festive hats, socks, skirts and more traveled East along the levee route in the bright early morning sunlight. Not to be slowed by anything, Grant Catloth ran away with the overall win in 17:42 while Jill Boyle won the women's division in 21:46. Overall male masters winner was Paul Miller in 18:19 and overall female masters winner was Starla Jones in 24:02. Several entrants were doing their first 5k ever while many more were completing this specific race for the dozenth+ time. For many in Lawrence and surrounding towns, this race is a family tradition.
Johnny's was graciously the headquarters for the event, providing the venue for pre-race sign up, the traditional Irish breakfast and awards. Also to be thanked are the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee and the many event sponsors. A big thank you to runLawrence for some great photos. These can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com//photos/ngungil...