It was a day of firsts. It was the first time a 5k/10k course ran entirely north of Commercial Street. It was the first time many of the runners and walkers had ever been to Lafayette Park. As far as first impressions go, Woodland Heights hit a home run.
The Habitat Home Run 5k, 10k, 1 mile fun run is the official race of the Price Cutter Charity Championship, which benefits 40+ charities including Habitat for Humanity of Springfield. Habitat’s share of the proceeds will go to Neighborhood Revitalization activities in Woodland Heights.
Nearly 300 runners and walkers explored the mostly flat and shaded streets of Woodland Heights on August 26. Members of the JROTC at Hillcrest High School and football players from Reed Middle School came out in force to cheer. The Woodland Heights Neighborhood Association worked a water station. Springfield Fire sent three of their finest who became favorite targets in the water balloon fight that immediately followed the awards ceremony.
The whole experience was a first for Kimmie G. who signed up for the one mile but decided to keep going on the 5k course.
“Thank you for everything,” said Kimmie. “It was so fun, thank you to all the volunteers, thank you to the encouragers! And thank you for all the goodies, and for the food afterwards, and the massage, I was so impressed by everything. I have never done anything like this before, and I loved it; quite inspirational.”
The number of race registrations increased by 50 from last year.
“This was a great opportunity to introduce a lot of folks to our focus neighborhood, Woodland Heights,” said HFHS Executive Director Larry Peterson. “Visitors saw challenges that the community faces. But they also saw beauty and potential.”
Sponsorships were also up this year, boosting gross revenue by 30% for a total of $17,268. HFHS anticipates receiving at least $8,000 for Neighborhood Revitalization.
Only one runner can be first in a race. But every runner and walker at the Habitat Home Run was part of something bigger than coming in first – helping an entire neighborhood win.