Sarah Bush Lincoln to sponsor “Races for all Paces”

Cassie Buchman, City Editor

Runners and walkers of all speeds and experience levels will race around Eastern and the city of Charleston for Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center’s annual “Races for all Paces” at 6 a.m. on May 16 at O’Brien Stadium.

Laura Bollan, director of the healthy communities department of Sarah Bush Lincoln, said the point of the race was to get all kinds of people participating.

“The point is to get families up and getting active together and having fun doing it,” Bollan said.

Bollan said anyone can run in the race, which was why it was called “Races for all Paces.”

“You don’t have to be an experienced runner. There are races for everyone to be put in. There will be all skill levels, ages,” Bollan said.

The race was run in previous years around Sarah Bush Lincoln, but this year it has been changed to Eastern’s campus.

“It’s a more exciting venue, and we love to partner with Eastern,” she said. “The course will include a little bit of panther trail and the town for the half marathon.”

The race started as a part of the healthy communities department of Sarah Bush Lincoln. The healthy communities department sponsors many health-related activities.

These activities include the Sarah Bush dental program, where dental services are provided to children who cannot afford them, Healthy Kids Educator, where children are taught in a classroom setting about nutrition and how to prepare foods, and JumpStart, a camp atmosphere for kids at risk for obesity that teaches them about nutrition and self-esteem.

“They are all about families, health and having people get together and have fun,” Bollan said.

The “Races for all Paces” usually averages around 700 to 800 participants.

“We have a survey afterwards people can take, and people always say they love the race,” Bollan said. “I expect it will be even more fun at EIU. The race routes are more improved and it’s a more exciting route, with things to see.”

Bollan said one of the goals of “Races for all Paces” is to encourage people, especially first time runners, to keep running even after the race.

“They love to do the race; they love the half marathon,” Bollan said. “It might be their first time, but this is the kind of event to get started out.”

Bollan said they see a lot of returning runners from previous “Races for all Paces” events, and one of the race’s goals is to have people come back.

“When you see someone smile going across the finish line, knowing what they did, you can see it on their face, they’re going ‘I can’t believe I did it,’ but they did,” Bollan said.

Races people can participate in include everything from a half marathon, which will be 13.1 miles long and include aid stations, to a 5K Fun Run/Walk, to a 1 mile Fun Run/Walk.

Medals for finishers will be available for every race.

A Toddler Trot and Diaper Dash, which are 50 and 25 yards long, respectively, will be for younger children.

Although the event is good for those starting out, people looking for a bit more competition will not be disapointed.

“You can compete if you want, it can be a competitive environment,” Bollan said. “But you won’t be uncomfortable if this is your first time.”

People can register online at to participate in the race.


Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]