Photos by A. Kilgore
The Akron Gen.Wellness Walk & Run took place on September 5, 2015 in the City of Stow. Approximately 300 participants registered to take part in the festivities celebrating an active lifestyle and supporting Muffins For Mammograms, which helps uninsured and underinsured women have access to free breast exams.
The event was a follow up to last year’s successful 100th anniversary event, the Birthday Bash Dash 5K. As with last year, the Wellness Walk & Run was held in conjunction with the City of Stow's Summer Sunset Blast, a weekend long celebration in town that serves as a farewell to summer. There were over 75 volunteers and countless spectators who were also present to help support the runners and the cause.
The festivities began that Saturday morning with day-of registration and packet pickup at 8:00 AM, and former WQMX DJ Chris Casale playing uptempo tunes to energize the crowd. Athletic trainer Rick Fullen provided a warm-up session (pictured above) to get runners ready. Senior Vice President of Wellness Doug Ribley sounded the horn at 9:00 AM to signify the start of the 5K. Everyone from competitive runners to casual walkers made their way down City Center Boulevard in Stow, soon making a turn on to the gravel and paved paths of the Akron Gen.Wellness Trails located nearby.
These trails extended for approximately 0.4 miles, then sending runners down Lillian and Darrow Roads. The course looped around and guided runners back through the Wellness Trails to the finish line!
The Akron Gen. Health & Wellness Express served as a backdrop to the after party, where runners gathered to cool down and refuel with water & bananas provided by sponsor Giant Eagle, popcorn from Metropolis Popcorn, sandwiches from Subway, and of course giant muffins from Main Street Gourmet. Additional muffins were for sale at the after party, and participants could visit tables to talk with representatives from Reflections Breast Health Center, the Heart Walk, CommuniCare, TITLE Boxing Club of Stow, AGMC's Trauma Center. Luella Wertz, LMT was present to give free massages, and InFocus Studios were printing free photos against a green screen backdrop.
First place finisher (overal female and overall runner - Jodi Brown)
An awards ceremony was led by Race Director Michael Evans and Stow Mayor Sara Drew, which included a raffle of 100 Day Family Memberships to Lifestyles, gift certificates to Second Sole AkRun, and many other prizes. Medals were given to winners who placed in his or her respective age group, and trophies were given to the overall female winner (Jodi Brown, Medical/Surgical Staff RN) and overall male winner (Jeremy Nebelsick, Practice Manager at Akron Gen. Family Practice Hudson).
Special Thanks To Our Sponsors & Partners: Akron Coffee Roasters, Akron Gen. Women's Board, AGMCTrauma Center, AGMC Young Professionals, BCG & Company, CommuniCare, Event Source, Giant Eagle, GOJO Industries, Haven Homes Assisted Living of Stow, InFocus Studios, Luella Wertz LMT, Metropolis Popcorn, Reflections Breast Health Center, RS Racing Systems, Stow Parks & Recreation Department, TITLE Boxing Club of Stow, Torchbearers of Akron