On September 28, 2012, the Allen Center at the UW -Stevens Point campus hosted a free 5K/3K run-or-walk to promote living a healthier lifestyle as well as services offered by the cardio center.
The Allen Center’s Student Health Promotion Office (SHPP) organizes the fun every year. Students working as health advocates in this office actively promote the fun run in hopes that students and the community alike will take advantage of the services offered by the Allen Center. As a Health Advocate (HA) in the office, Tammy Vander Loop explained her responsibilities and the fun run.
“The purpose of the run was to get students to get to know all of the services at the Allen Center,” Vander Loop said. “Health Advocates promote healthy ideas such as, nutrition, fitness and exercise, stress management, personal safety and the risks of tobacco and alcohol.”
The run was free to all students, and the HAs completed the majority of the promotion done for the event. During the event, the HAs could be seen acting as a guide on the trails, helping with registration and providing refreshments to the participants. Vander Loop believes that doing so and being actively engaged in the marketing process is beneficial to the HAs.
As far as participation goes, the HAs had a goal of 200 runners. Vander Loop explained that she knew that over 100 people had signed up to participate in the race. In the past there has been between 100-150 people participating in the event. Danae Jaslow, a cycling and TurboKick instructor at the Allen Center, also participated in the race.
“I really enjoyed participating in the 5K. This is a great event that allows people to have fun while running and still feel like they can be a little competitive,” Jaslow said. “I loved that they gave out free shirts and food for the runners who signed up, and the course for the run was absolutely beautiful in Schmeekle Reserve.”
Though the instructors from the Allen Center didn’t help promote and plan the 5K, Jaslow explained that she was a part of the events that occurred before the run took place
There were mini-group fitness classes, a part of the “Groovin’ With Allen” week where many of the classes and the cardio center were free to students with their student ID.
Jaslow has run multiple races in the past and has been able to maintain running at least three times a week, so she didn’t have to prepare much for the Allen Center’s 5K. She explained that if the event was her first 5K, she would work up her endurance by running outside for 10 minutes straight and then build her time up slowly without stopping for a few weeks. She had nothing but good things to say about her experience this year.
“I felt really good after the run and still had a lot of energy and was happy with my race time,” Jaslow said. “It was a great event, and I am definitely looking forward to participating in it again next year.”
With such an event, the Allen Center encourages the use of its programs and facilities, and the HAs are more than happy to help educate students on a different and healthy way to living. The 5K event is evidence.
“The best thing to do going into something like this is to have a positive attitude. Go into the race thinking you will succeed and reach whatever time you are trying to get,” Jaslow said.