When I was a kid, races were for “athletes”. Walkers didn’t participate in races, let alone walkers with STROLLERS! And costumes? Forget about it. Races were for ‘competitors’. Not just for anyone.
Whelp, times have changed….for the better. (I know, I know, some people don’t like the change. But competitors can still find competitive runs, right?) Today, a big part of planning a race is focusing on the community. Today, many event organizers steer away from even calling their events, “races” so as not to intimidate anyone from joining in. Today, it’s about more than just a race. It’s about:
- Getting active
- Creating healthy habits
- Getting people involved who may not necessarily have thought they could participate in smoething like a 5K
- Bringing together people from all different backgrounds and finding a common ground
The Ferguson Twilight Run 5K / 10K & Fun Run exemplifies this shift in the world of races. Their focus is on “showcasing the enjoyable, healthy, and sustainable aspects of fitness activities”. They work hard to show everyone in their community how being healthy can be part of anyone’s life. So, much of their race management focuses on how to embrace their community diversity to offer an event that everyone will love. And they’re succeeding. They’ve gone from 900 people at their first event (which was already an impressive number) to over 2000 in just 4 years.
Even cooler? They’ve found so much success with this group of events that they’re looking to expand into cycling events, health fairs, and educational seminars.
Check out their most recent blog post, The Impact of the Ferguson Twilight Run on the People ofFerguson. Their honesty is raw and pure. Yes, they have challenges, but this event has been, and will continue to be, something special for everyone involved, participants and volunteers alike.
Nez Savala, Ferguson Twilight Run Planning Committee Member, sums it up in one of her comments here. She says of the start line, “That moment brings it all together for me. It makes me remember why we work so hard to host a good race. It’s become so much more than a run or a walk, it’s become a community event for everyone.”
They’re a pretty great partner of ours, doing amazing things for their community, one person at a time. Hats off to you, Live Well Events.
To learn more about Ferguson Twilight Run, click here.
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