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Five Weeks to a 5K beginning soon

‘Five Weeks to a 5k’ inspires hopeful Hospitality Classic runners and walkers

MARSHALL – Folks who want some extra zip in their lives can get a boost in anticipation of one of downtown Marshall’s biggest annual events.

“It’s called ‘Five Weeks to a 5k,’ and it’s all about getting ready for the Oaklawn Hospital Hospitality Classic in May,” said Nathan Burns, director of the Oaklawn Life Improvement Center.

“So, don’t let the Classic sneak up on you,” he said. “It’ll be here sooner than you think.”

You don’t necessarily have to be a marathon runner to get excited about the annual event, to be held the morning of Saturday, May 20, bringing about 1,000 participants together to join in running and walking events.

“This is a get-into-gear program designed to help people get ready to walk or run a 5k,” said Burns. “And it’s free.”

Groups of would-be runners and walkers will gather at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 18 through May 18. They will meet at the benches on the north side of the parking ramp on Mansion Street, across from Oaklawn Hospital, he said.

Weekly routes will be provided to participants, who will be led by a degreed fitness specialist from the Oaklawn Life Improvement Center, Burns said. Routes range from 1.5 miles to 4 miles, and all fitness levels are addressed, including children and walkers with strollers and leashed pets.

Registration is not required for “Five Weeks to a 5k, and those who wish to participate can simply show up at the place and time stated above. Those with questions may call (269) 781-7585.

“Whatever experience you enjoy while walking or running, we want to welcome you to join in,” Burns said. “That’s even if you want to push your baby in a stroller or walk your dog at the same time. A lot of people do exactly that during the Classic.”

The Hospitality Classic will feature a 10k run, a 5k run and a 5k May Walk. The day’s final event will be a one-mile “fun run.”

The courses, certified by USA Track & Field, start in downtown Marshall and follow city streets through the historic residential district, out into the country and back to the staging area with a fast downhill finish at the Honolulu House and Fountain Circle.

Additional information about the May 20 event is available from Oaklawn’s development office at (269) 789-3942.