Dow RunWalk returns to celebrate healthy communities

After a year-long hiatus, the Dow RunWalk returns with a community-wide celebration of health and family-friendly fitness on Saturday, Sept. 18. Race Management and Promotions Manager at Greater Midland Community Center, Jennifer Adamcik, spoke about the 35th annual event’s growth over the years. 

“When the Community Center originally took over the event 20-25 years ago, it was about a 400-person race,” Adamcik says. “In our heyday, we grew it to about a 3,000-person race.” 

In 2019, Adamcik says the race hosted about 1800 participants but did not have an event in 2020. This year, she expects about 800 participants in the 2021 RunWalk, which starts at Collins Street and finishes at Mill Court. 

“The biggest race this year is the half marathon (run and walk). Traditionally, the 5k run is the biggest race,” she says. 

The morning’s events include a half marathon, a 10k run, 5k run, 5k walk, 1-mile run (ages 5-14) and a tot trot (ages 3-5). The options for different levels of physical activity and ages make it a family-friendly outing. 

The path is accessible for both strollers and wheelchairs, inviting all ages to enjoy the area and a day of activity.“There’s the fun side of it, and there’s also the competitive side of it,” Adamcik says. “We’ll see parents pushing strollers and we’ll see those people who are out racing to get their personal record.”

The day before the race, Sept. 17, the community is welcome to join participants picking up their race materials for a free Eat Great pop-up event. The event features food trucks and live music from 3:30-6:30 p.m. in front of the Curling Center. 

Adamcik says the annual event is also an inclusive event and enjoyable for all, even if they’re not interested in running or walking the course. 

“It’s also a community event, not just for those involved, but also, we run through the neighborhoods that surround greater Midland. We see a lot of folks that have come out just to cheer on the runners during race morning. From business to volunteer, to nonprofits, to our participants, it’s just a great way for our region and community to come out and celebrate being healthy together.”

The path is accessible for both strollers and wheelchairs, inviting all ages to enjoy the area and a day of activity, says Adamcik. 

The morning’s events include a half marathon, a 10k run, 5k run, 5k walk, 1-mile run (ages 5-14) and a tot trot (ages 3-5).“The Dow Runwalk is truly a community and regional event, one that people look to come out to year after year. Once they come once, they tend to come back. ... We allow strollers, and we have family-friendly post-race activities (tennis hitting cage, fencing, corn hole, tumbling, golf). We encourage people to come out and interact and have a good time.”

Dow Runwalk is still in need of volunteers for various roles including spirit stations, on-course barricade race crew spots, refreshment stations and more. Interested community members can sign up online to volunteer. 

Racers can register online for the event or sign-up the day of the event on Sept. 18 in front of the Curling Center. For full race details and registration information, visit https://www.dowrunwalk.com/.

Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at spohn9@gmail.com.
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