The skies cleared long enough this morning for 77 runners and walkers to participate in the annual Alpha Life Run/Walk 5K. Started in 2004 under the umbrella of Alpha Women’s Center of West Michigan, the event now supports the work of the Alpha Family Center of Lowell. The non-profit provides a variety of services for local families including free ultrasounds, diapers and GED classes.
For the 2019 run, participants represented 20 area churches from Lowell, Hastings, Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas. One person hailed from South Carolina. Overall, $8,980 was raised by the event.
Here’s a closer look at 2019 Alpha Life Run/Walk 5K held on June 1, 2019.
Participants started arriving at 7:30am for the 8am race. It was a festival atmosphere with music playing, people mingling and activities for the kids such as balloon creations and face painting.
Upon check-in, participants received their bib number, t-shirt and water bottle.
There were some familiar faces in the crowd, including former City of Lowell Councilmember Don Green and former City Manager Dave Pasquale.
While her husband was walking the 5K, Anne Pasquale volunteered at the refreshment table.
There, finishers could grab a drink and a snack to refuel after their run or walk.
At 8am, Christa Wetzel, executive director for the Alpha Family Center of Lowell, gathered everyone around for some opening remarks and instructions.
The crowd then moved to the starting line. Everyone was ready to go!
Well, almost everyone.
The race started, with the runners going first…
…and the walkers taking a more leisurely pace.
The route started at the North Grand River Riverfront Park behind Walgreens, followed Bowes Road to Hudson and then turned around to come back the same way. Seventeen-year old Dan Paul put a lot of distance between himself and the competition. He finished the course in 19 minutes, 26 seconds.
The next group to cross the finish line arrived at 22 minutes, 22 seconds.
There were medals for the top finishers in various age groups.
However, the real winners are the area families who rely on the free support offered by Alpha Family Center of Lowell.