Why We Run Roads enters its seventh year and will take place April 21 at Ionia State Park. The race will begin and conclude on the bike path off Riverside Drive. Funds raised from this and the Why We Run Trails event will go to Ionia County YMCA 3rd grade water safety program and swim scholarships.
Last Year’s Triple Crown Challenge
Barb Schelter and her grandson Bryce completed last year’s Triple Crown Challenge events, each raising money for a different cause. Barb has been running for over 10 years while Bryce, a 4th grade student, started two years ago. Ionia County YMCA Program Director Julie Klynstra calls the pair an inspiration. “Bryce says Grandma is his inspiration for running, and he runs to keep up with her. Barb says she runs to be able to keep up with her 5 grandchildren! Either way, they are both very ambitious and physically fit people!” she comments. Regardless of the reason, the two enjoy spending time together staying active.
Last year’s Why We Run Trails event was the first in the series. The second leg was the Retro Run Race 5k, which was sponsored by the Beautiful People Running Club and benefited an athletic scholarship for a student attending Ionia High School. Rounding out the challenge was the Touched by Adoption 5k run/walk, which raised funds and awareness for adoption services and families in the Ionia County area.
The Schelters are ready for this year’s dual event, both put on by the Ionia County YMCA.
Hitting the Road and Trail for a Good Cause
There’s still time to sign up for the upcoming road race. Participants do not have to be members of the Ionia County YMCA or live within the county. Anyone looking to get out and enjoy the outdoors while supporting a good cause is welcome.
The course is a flat, out and back style set up to be fast for those who like to go! It will take place along the River Valley Rail Trail off Riverside Drive. Registration can be completed online through Thursday, April 19. Late registration will take place Friday 6pm – 9pm at the YMCA in Ionia or the morning of the event from 7:30am – 8:45am at the race location.
On race day, Saturday, April 21, the 10k will start at 9am. The 5k run/walk will begin at 9:20am. And the kids’ mile dash will kick off at 11am. The 5k and 10k are both timed events.
The second event will take place on Wednesday, June 27 beginning at 7pm. Why We Run Trails gives participants the opportunity to hit the trails around Session Lake in Ionia State Park. The 5k and 10k races will be timed. A kids mile dash will also take place at the event.
Both the road and trail races serve as primary fundraising for the Ionia County YMCA’s 3rd grade water safety program where more than 600 children participate. Sign up for both races and save $5 per race. Entry in one race gives the participant five chances to win a free entry into the Grand Rapids ½ or full marathon in Fall 2018. Sign up for both races and receive 10 chances to win. Male and female overall winners for each race will also receive a gift certificate to Gazelle Sports with medals for the top three men and women in each age group.
When, Where, and Cost
Thanks to sponsorship from Ionia Family Dentistry, Sparrow Ionia Hospital, Meijer, and Michigan One Community Credit Union the Why We Run series of races have been made possible. Act soon to enroll in the upcoming Why We Run Roads race happening next weekend, Saturday, April 21. The Why We Run Trails race will take place on Wednesday, June 27. The cost for the 5k in each race is $20/person and the 10k is $25/person. The kids mile event is $10/person.
Registering online is the fastest and easiest way to get signed up. The price of the road race will go up by $5 after the early registration deadline of April 19 at 11:59pm. Take advantage of signing up for the road and trail events at the same time and save a total of $10!