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Let’s go running

Newspaper to host free 5K training group

Looking for a way to get in shape while helping a good cause?

Then, we have just the thing, said Stephanie Snodgrass, Brewton Standard publisher.

“This year, the newspaper, along with Beth Billy and the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce, is sponsoring a training group for the Blueberry Fun Run/Walk 5K, which will be held on Sat., June 17,” Snodgrass said.

The annual 5K was established in honor of Matthew Hutton Billy, the son of Beth and Steve Billy, who died after a courageous battle with leukemia in 2001. Race proceeds are used to fund scholarships in his memory for students dual-enrolled in Coast Alabama Community College Brewton and Huntingdon College.

The race draws a number of racers out on the morning of Brewton’s annual Blueberry Festival. To help increase that number – and as a way to promote healthy living – The Standard is offering a free 11-week training group to anyone willing to participate.

“To some, myself included, running for one’s health appears complicated and daunting, but we have a way to make it fun while doing something good for our community,” Snodgrass said. “The only requirement for those training is that they pre-register for the race by mid-April.”

Cost is $20 for runners/walkers age 14 and up and $10 for those younger than 13. Entry fee for a family of five or more is $40. Specific race day particulars are in the works, such as route and meeting locations, and will be announced closer to race day.

The newspaper’s training group will be led by Serena Terry and follow a “couch to 5K” model. Terry is an avid runner, with years of 5K and marathon-style running experience.

“This is going to be a very simple, easy to follow way to begin running,” Terry said of the group. “We’re going to start off very slow and build our way up. By the time race day comes, you will feel confident in your ability to come across that finish line.”

The group will meet at 6 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays beginning on Mon., April 3, in the YMCA parking lot. The group will use the T.R. Miller walking track for its initial sessions. Sessions will average 30 minutes.

One should wear comfortable dri-fit clothes and running shoes, Terry said.

“All you really need is a desire to get active, so don’t worry about your experience level,” she said. “This is going to be a fun group where we all serve as motivation and give encouragement.”

For more information and to sign up, contact Snodgrass at 251.867.4876 or via email at stephanie.snodgrass@brewtonstandard.com.