Organizers of the annual Weston 5K began the race 12 years ago with the goal of encouraging residents to enjoy walking or running. This effort is part of Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Community Assessment Goals. The Hospital started the year off with a Snowball Run in January and a Groundhog Day 5K in February to provide walkers/runners with an early race for the upcoming race season.
“We just wanted people to get moving,” said John Weber, a physical therapist at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. “We have been very pleased that the race has grown year after year and we had more than 150 registrants last year. We think that we have gotten the message across to our residents about the importance of physical activity.”
The race has been the cooperative effort of Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, Saint Patrick Church/School, and the City of Weston. This year the event will be held on Sat., April 13, beginning at 10 a.m. in downtown Weston.
With each year, the race coordinators have sought to bring a new element to the race. During one of the early years, the Weston Wee Run was added for young children after the regular run. Another innovation was the invitation to participants to bring their canine pals to the race. In an effort to bring more children to the race, “scholarships” are again being offered for Lewis County students in grades kindergarten through high school. The costs will be raised by selling sponsorships on the back of the race shirts. The students will have to pay a small fee to participate.
“We are pretty excited about this program for Lewis County children,” said race co-chair Mary Hendricks. “The scholarship allows a student to register for the very low price of $3. We felt that if a family was bringing their children to the race that a five member family would have a bit of an expense when they registered. This way we are providing students with the opportunity to race but without the expense.”
Mayor Julia Spelsberg has been one of the coordinators since the race inception and noted that there is a gigantic Weston Cleanup the Saturday before the race.
“We are having Make It Shine Day on April 6 so that we have Weston all spruced up for the big race. We want to put our best foot forward for this event,” she explained.
The only other issue is that students need to register by the April 6. Applications are available online at www.stonewallhospital.com. For other questions please contact Julia Spelsberg at SJMH – 304-269-8167.