While spring in Minnesota can bring unpredictable weather, one thing you can count on every April is a crowd of enthusiastic participants ready to take part in the Earth Day Run Weekend activities. This year was no different as more than 4,000 runners and walkers packed the streets of St. Cloud, making it one of the biggest race weekends in the event’s history. CentraCare Health led the planning for this annual event and excitement is already building for next year.
The Earth Day Run attracts people from across the region and is Central Minnesota’s largest road race featuring a half marathon, half marathon relay, 5K run/walk and 1K kids run. This year, the weekend had a special focus on kids with separate field trip experiences for area 3rd graders and all 17 area Boys and Girls Club/KIDSTOP sites. Through this, more than 1,600 kids learned about healthy activities and capped off the experience running their own 1K race.
It was a remarkable weekend, and it was successful because of the community teamwork that took place before, during and after the event. “Our volunteers were amazing,” said Bartt Gevens, race director. “So many people stepped up to help, and that’s what made the weekend really special for participants and spectators.” More than 1,200 volunteers pitched in starting early Thursday morning until late Saturday night to make the event a smooth-running success.
The City of St. Cloud was a tremendous partner, helping with course planning and street preparations. The Parks & Recreation department made it possible to highlight some of the city’s most beautiful green spaces. Local police played a huge role both days to ensure the safety of participants as well as spectators, and St. Cloud State University played a major role as the course weaved through campus and finished inside Husky Stadium.
It was an exhilarating weekend for everyone involved, and CentraCare will again be leading the event in 2017 – one that is expected to be even bigger and better.
To learn more, visit: http://runearthday.com/
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