SBLHC hosts first Races for all Paces since COVID-19

From+left%2C+Tiffany+Gibson+and+her+daughter+Piper+Gibson+cross+the+finish+line+at+the+Sarah+Bush+Lincoln+Races+for+all+Paces+Saturday+morning+at+OBrien+Stadium.+When+asked+why+she+participated%2C+Tiffany+said+Why+not%3F+Its+a+great+day+and+its+an+awesome+feeling.+Its+a+good+promotion+of+healthy+habits+for+sure.+Piper+noted+that+she+couldnt+wait+to+get+some+water.+

Rob Le Cates

From left, Tiffany Gibson and her daughter Piper Gibson cross the finish line at the Sarah Bush Lincoln Races for all Paces Saturday morning at O’Brien Stadium. When asked why she participated, Tiffany said “Why not? It’s a great day and it’s an awesome feeling. It’s a good promotion of healthy habits for sure.” Piper noted that she couldn’t wait to get some water.

Rob Le Cates, Editor-in-Chief

The 80-degree summer heat didn’t stop more than 800 runners from participating in the first Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center Race for all Paces since COVID-19 Saturday morning at O’Brien Stadium.

Through panting breaths and drinks of water, Tiffany and daughter Piper Gibson said running the one-mile race was a great experience and it would only be beneficial if they ran it.

“Why not [participate]? It’s a great day and it’s an awesome feeling,” Tiffany said. “It’s a good promotion of healthy habits for sure.”

Piper noted she couldn’t wait to get into air conditioning and to drink some water.

The Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center Races for all Paces had more than 800 runners and 350 volunteers according to Laura Bollan and Nate Brettin. (Rob Le Cates)

Overseeing the races, Director of Healthy Communities at SBLHC, Laura Bollan said she was thrilled to see so many people participate, especially for the first race since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was great to see 500 people take off at the 5K,” Bollan said. “And to see, I don’t know, I think it was like 300 leave on the one mile and it was families together having fun.”

She recalls one of her favorite moments from the day, being from a kid who was handed his medal and looked over to his mom and said “Mom, look I won.” Bollan said it was just too cute. 

Four different races took place, with all funds going towards SBLHC’s Healthy Kids and Dental Program.

Two other events took place on the 50-yard line of the football field, the Toddler Trot and the Diaper Dash. 

Bollan said she had no clue how much was raised but was very happy with the outcome of the race.

Runners participate in the Toddler Trot on the O’Brien Stadium football field 50-yard line during the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center Races for all Paces event Saturday morning. (Rob Le Cates)

Healthcare workers and their families participated in the races, as well.

Meghan Wahl has participated as a volunteer for two years but decided to bring her husband and daughter with her to run in the 5K for the first time. 

Cory Wahl said the race was a great experience, and he just needed to try and keep up with his daughter.

Meghan works at SBLHC as the director of the accountable care organization and said Sarah Bush did a great job putting this event together, allowing community members to treat it as a family day.

Showing support for her daughter who helped with the race, Dana Freeman, Gary Freeman and Kynzligh Wilson ran in the one-mile race. 

Dana said the atmosphere was so friendly and she knew Kynzligh would have a good time doing it. 

Cory Wahl holds his daughter Avery Wahl after she finishes running in the Toddler Trot during the Sarah Bush Lincoln Races for all Paces event Saturday morning. Cory Wahl said the race was a great experience, and he just needed to try and keep up with his daughter. (Rob Le Cates)

After finishing the race, Gary recalled it was a struggle to keep up with the little one but said it burned off some energy.

Although this was Volunteer Coordinator Nate Brettin’s first year involved with the races and said the feeling, to him, was magical being out and helping.

“Everybody out at Sarah Bush who was more than happy to volunteer has been the biggest help,” Brettin said.

Brettin said the organization side of things wasn’t perfect and it was rough but has hopes for a less chaotic future. 

“Regardless though, all of our volunteers from Sarah Bush and all the other organizations and just random people that wanted to come out and help its just so rewarding for me to see those people winning,” Britten said.

“Laura Bollan is an absolutely amazing person,” Brettin said. “She really has her heart in this and even coming off of two years, it’s still there; her passion if anything it’s grown so I really appreciate her getting me in on helping.”

Rob Le Cates can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]