Whitehills 5k and Fun Run Returns August 25

Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 9:30 am
By: 
Charlie Meyers

Photo credit: Ariniko O’Meara.

On Saturday, Aug. 25, the East Lansing community will come together for the Whitehills Elementary’s fourth annual 5K and Fun Run.

According to Joy Campbell, one of the lead directors of the event, the primary objective of starting the race was to bring the students and families of the Whitehills neighborhood together with the rest of East Lansing, even those with little connection to the neighborhood itself.

“We wanted to link the neighborhood to the school,” Campbell said. “It’s a way that people – even those who don’t have families at the school – could feel like they were still supporting these kids. We’re connecting two worlds.”

The race has had a clear impact on the community, with an average annual turnout of 150-200. Many small businesses and even individuals have contributed financially, including the Foster Swift law firm and other establishments like PKSA Karate and the Wellness Institute of Michigan.

According to the event’s Facebook page, “Race proceeds will go toward needs identified by Whitehills Elementary School.” And there are enough sponsorships to offset 100% of the race costs.

Rather than medals, the top-placing runners will be awarded bags of coffee signed by Desiree Linden, winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon. John McCabe, another silver sponsor, pitched the idea himself, and his sponsorship will cover the cost of purchasing the coffee from Linden’s own coffee company, linden and true. McCabe recently recorded his 100,000th running mile.

“You get various trophies and medals and things like that – most of them are pretty similar, and I thought it might be fun to do something different,” McCabe said.

Along with the 5K, there will be a Kids’ Fun Run as a way to get younger kids excited to run more often. This part of the event is free and does not require any sort of registration.

“The kids love it, and it also encourages them to someday run the whole 5k,”Campbell said. “The large amount of kid participation makes it a lot of fun for everyone.”

Absent from this year’s event is the Trail Run, a shorter run through the local woods that has been cancelled due to ongoing construction. The Trail Run was introduced to the event in 2016, and Campbell cites the demand for its return as the determining factor in whether they bring the run back for 2019.

“If enough people come back to us…if they say they want the Trail Run back, we would certainly consider,” she said. “This seemed like a good year to see if people really want it back.”

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Whitehills Elementary, on Saturday, Aug. 25. Registration, which costs $25, will close on Thursday, Aug. 23 at midnight.

Whitehills Elementary School is located at 621 Pebblebrook Lane.