On your mark: Annual 5K run/walk jump starts outdoor fitness season

May 2010 Posted in Community, Your Health

By Steve RitchieAnd they’re off! Young and old charge from the start line of a previous Silverton Hospital Fun Run. The event, a benefit for the hospital Care Van, takes place on Saturday, May 8.

Like bears emerging from hibernation, local runners and walkers are being lured out of the fitness centers and off their couches by the warmer and longer days to start pounding the pavement.

It’s now safe to exercise outside again – just in time for Silverton Hospital’s 27th annual Fun Run on Saturday, May 8.

The Silverton Hospital Fun Run signals the unofficial start of the outdoor fitness season, said Volunteer Coordinator Judy Schmidt, who is in her 13th year of organizing this event, which annually attracts more than 700 runners and walkers on the day before Mothers’ Day.

“A lot of people see it as a great way to start the spring off,” Schmidt said. “Everybody is getting out more into their yards, and starting to think more about exercise. It kind of starts that season.”

One of the special features of the Silverton Hospital Fun Run is the participation of families. Many people run or walk with their children, and some even push strollers for the 5-kilometer course (3.1 miles).

Hospital fun run registration

The Silverton Hospital Fun Run begins with a
1-mile race for kids 10 years old and under at 8 a.m.
Starting line is at the hospital, 342 Fairview St.
A warm-up led by Silverton Fitness staffers follows
at 8:30 a.m. The 5K Run and Walk begins at 8:45 a.m.
Awards are given to the top three placers in each
five-year age group.

Advance registration is $15 with a T-shirt
(or $10 without a shirt) by mail through May 5
or at Silverton Hospital until the day before the race.
Day-of-race registration takes place from 6:45 to 7:45 a.m.
and costs $20 with a shirt and $15 without.
Participants may also register online at
www.racenorthwest.com.

“There are a lot of people who bring their families,” Schmidt noted. “It’s not too expensive, it’s local, it supports a good cause and I think we have incredible local support for the hospital. So I think all those things tie together and it runs well – people would be disappointed if it didn’t happen.”

Another attraction for families is the opportunity to get a photo taken together at the Fun Run. The hospital will send the photo to participants at no charge after the event.

Silverton Hospital employees get involved, too. Schmidt said it takes about 75 volunteers to put on the Fun Run and most of them are hospital staff members.

“We have a job for everyone,” she joked.

Business and community sponsors help the hospital keep the entry fee affordable and provide the special perks like the photos and complimentary snacks. Schmidt said that some belt-tightening on expenses last year helped them realize a small profit from the run.

Schmidt hopes another good turnout will mean a profit again this year. Any proceeds from the Fun Run will go to support the hospital’s Care Van, a valuable community resource that provides 500 free rides every month.

Weather is always the biggest variable for the Fun Run and definitely affects the number of people who turn out. Schmidt didn’t hesitate to promise sunshine for this year’s event.

“We haven’t had too many wet ones – we’ve been really lucky.”

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