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CentraCare Health takes lead role in Earth Day Run

Published in Inside CentraCare, For the Health of It Author: Bartt Gevens

The Earth Day Run began in 1998 through the efforts of the St. Cloud State University Campus Recreation Department. The vision was to grow it into Minnesota’s premier half marathon.

I became involved in 2002 as a student working for Campus Recreation. I volunteered to help with race course set-up and fell in love with the event! Each year I increased my role with the event, until I became its race director. The 2016 season will officially be my seventh year of organizing the Earth Day Run and my 14th year helping in some capacity. I have seen firsthand the event grow from just a few hundred people to several thousand participants.

The event has grown tremendously since its infancy, demonstrating the demand for health and wellness events in Central Minnesota. With the run taking place in April, it creates a great kickoff for spring and offers a key training run for those getting ready for other races like Grandma’s in Duluth and the Fargo Marathon.

The Earth Day Run features a 1k youth run, 5K, half marathon and half marathon relay. The event is geared towards everyone, not only providing a great environment for families, casual and first-time runners, but also meeting the expectations of elite runners as well.

This year features an exciting transition for the event. I am extremely enthusiastic about the new partnership between the Earth Day Run and CentraCare Health. CentraCare is the face of health and wellness in Central Minnesota. Under its leadership, the Earth Day Run will continue to benefit the St. Cloud community and expand upon its vision of being the premier half marathon in Minnesota.