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Photo courtesy of St. Vincent's One Nineteen.
Runners at the Conquer Cancer 5K at St. Vincent's One Nineteen. The annual race benefits the American Cancer Society.
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Photo courtesy of David Bobo.
The Judy M. Merritt 5K will take place at Veterans Park on March 4. The run is in memory of Merritt, a former president of Jefferson State Community College.
By the time March rolls around, many people have let their New Year’s resolutions fall to the wayside. Whether those resolutions involved getting in shape, staying active or giving back to the community, the organizations along the 280 corridor are providing several options to get back in the swing of things.
From family-friendly fun runs to a high-intensity 50K, here are a few options to get active or get involved this month.
Judy M. Merritt 5K
Jefferson State Community College is once again hosting the Judy M. Merritt Memorial 5K this March. The event, set for March 4, also includes a 1-mile fun run/walk and family day following the races. All money raised at the event goes toward the Judy M. Merritt Memorial Scholarship fund at Jefferson State.
The run first started in 2015, in honor of the school’s 50th anniversary and longtime president Judy Merritt, who died in 2014.
The run will be held in Veterans Park, next door to Jefferson State’s Shelby-Hoover campus. Registration costs increased after Feb. 17 to $30 for the 5K, $20 for the 1-mile fun run/walk and $20 for the “virtual race” or sleep-in 5K option. Day-of registration will be available at the same cost.
Race registration will kick off at 6:45 a.m., with the 5K starting at 8 a.m. The 1-mile option will start at 9 a.m., and an award ceremony and door prize presentation will follow. Awards will be given to the top three male and female overall winners, and there will be other awards for groups and Jefferson State students, staff or faculty.
Following race activities, the family day will continue until noon. It includes a bouncy slide, balloon art, glitter tattoos, field day activities and free food. Families are asked to register online to allow for adequate planning.
For more information or to register, go to jeffersonstate.edu and search “Judy M. Merritt Memorial 5K.”
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Oak Mountain State Park
This year, Owens House is looking for superheroes. Owens House, Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center, is a Columbiana-based nonprofit that aims to provide free and confidential support to child victims of abuse as well as their non-offending family members. It provides resources for the child’s safety and to meet the family’s needs.
The nonprofit is hosting its third annual Superhero 5K and fun run. The run will take place at Oak Mountain State Park, starting at the Dogwood Pavilion, and all participants are encouraged to don their best superhero capes.
In addition to the 5K and 1-mile fun run, there is a free family fun fest that is open to the public. The fun fest includes games, face painting, food, inflatables, vendors and other activities. Runners receive lunch and a T-shirt, and there will be lunch available for non-runners for $2.
Late registration starts at 8:30 a.m. on March 11, the day of the run, and the 5K starts at 9 a.m. The family fun fest will continue throughout the early afternoon, until 1 p.m. Pets are welcome to the event, and the parking and entrance fee at Oak Mountain State Park will be waived for participants.
Registration is available online and costs $25 for the 5K, $20 for the fun run and either $15, $25 or $50 for “couch potato” options, which do not include a race registration, just T-shirts and varying levels of donations. A team option — $100 for five people — is also available. Day-of registration will be $5 extra per person.
To register, go to active.com and search Owens House Superhero 5K & Fun Run.
Conquer Cancer Run
St. Vincent’s One Nineteen
St. Vincent’s One Nineteen is hosting the 13th annual Brenda Ladun Conquer Cancer 5K and 1-mile Fun Run. The run raises money for the American Cancer Society and aims to represent hope about the fight against cancer.
“Brenda’s really done a great job with making it a fun, family event,” said Lauren Nichols, marketing and communications integration manager at One Nineteen. “I think just over the years, it’s really become such a celebration. It’s a lot of fun for people to come out and bring their whole family.”
In addition to the 5K, the 1-mile fun run has developed into a color run, where participants will be covered in colored powder throughout the race. St. Vincent’s One Nineteen also offers health screenings and services throughout the day.
Visitors can get $99 mammograms as well as free blood pressure screenings, free vision screenings, free massages for runners and free physical therapy consultations. There will also be a booth set up by One Nineteen’s spa. At last year’s event, the spa had a “sunscreen bar” where runners could try different sunscreens and learn about its importance.
The run is Saturday, March 18, and starts at 8 a.m. Day-of registration and packet pickup will start at 7 a.m., and the 1-mile fun run will start at 9 a.m. The event also includes a survivor celebration and balloon release. The cost is $30 for either the 5K or fun run through March 17.
For more information, go to runsignup.com and search “conquer cancer run.”
Oak Mountain 50K
March 25, 7:30 a.m. sharp
Oak Mountain State Park
Anyone looking for a real challenge can opt for this year’s Oak Mountain State Park 50K. This is the 18th year for the 50K, which takes participants on a course through forested hills and up climbs with around 600 foot elevation gains. Runners will pass by Peavine Falls and reach their highest elevation of 1,260 feet at Shackleford Point.
Registration for the race opened on June 1, 2016, and the race has a strict 150-runner limit to ensure there is enough at the aid station and enough post-race food for all participants. The race sold out early in 2016.
Race entry is $55 for a T-shirt, with the cost increasing to $75 after March 1, and $45 without a T-shirt or $65 after March 1. Oak Mountain State Park’s $5 admission fee is not included in the race entry cost.
Following the race, there will be race commemorative pub glasses for all finishers and awards for the top three male and female finishers. There will also be a cookout following the race.
For more information, go to oakmtn50k.com.