In support of a tremendous community cause, the Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run is set for May 12th.
The race starts on the track behind Lindsay Thurber High School and moves onto the McKenzie Trail System – the longer races come back and finish on the track while the 100m and 500m remain on the track.
“First and foremost, I’m a participant,” said Dr. Kerri Johnstone, chair of the Health Basics committee at the local Primary Care Network. “This is one of our big events in the community.”
“I’ve been in other running events but this one has always been my favourite because the atmosphere is so inclusive and non-intimidating. People from all walks of life and all different kinds of fitness levels, age level – there is something for everyone to feel comfortable participating in,” she said.
“You can be competitive if you want to, but you certainly don’t have to to get a lot out of it.”
For the second year, organizers have also selected The Mustard Seed School Lunch Program as their ‘Charity of Choice’.
Providing almost 55,000 lunches every year to vulnerable students in schools all across Red Deer, this program is funded primarily by charitable donations.
“The chief organizer, Val Jensen, said it’s always been her passion to have (the run) benefit people locally,” said Johnstone. “In particular, the school lunch program connects so well with the whole idea of benefiting everyone in the community.
“They took us for a tour and they were showing us just how many lunches they pump out every day to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have a very good lunch,” she explained. “They were healthy – when you see this in action you just felt encouraged and more passionate about raising funds for them as well.”
Visit www.womensfunrun.com and click on ‘Our Charity’ for information on how to help and have a chance to win some incredible prizes including a four-month lease on a Cadillac ATS-V from Kipp Scott GMC Cadillac Buick (includes $500 toward your insurance from The Cooperators), a $500 gift certificate from Clowes Jewellers and lots of other draw prizes as well.
Those interested in taking part are asked to register online before May 9th at midnight to avoid late charges.
Johnstone said the event is also a terrific means to help introduce folks to a fitness-type event that is fun at the same time, which may help them explore additional ways to be more active overall.
“There’s really nothing in my mind to hold people back from it which I think is important. Obviously as a family doctor, I really, really want to see more people be exercising and just being more active and connected to the community.”
Being able to heighten one’s activity level along with friends, family members and co-workers also helps to make it something more enjoyable to take part in, she added.
“It helps with so many different medical conditions including anxiety and depression as well,” she said, adding that at the local PCN, staff are always trying to empower people to maximize their own health.
“As a culture, we have a more sedentary lifestyle now. It can be harder to fit in all of these things, so if we are part of creating a culture of active living, then it can better become a part of people’s lives or their day-to-day rather than something they just have to fit in.
“And if it’s fun, then it’s way easier to get yourself out there.”
Meanwhile, participants can also register in person at Red Deer Primary Care Network offices during package pick up on May 11th from 2 – 8 p.m.
Registration will re-open on site Saturday morning at the race start at Lindsay Thurber High School from 7 – 8:30 a.m.
There will also be lots of fun family activities as well.
Again, for more information, check out www.womensfunrun.com.