5K run/walk hopes to attract eco-friendly crowd
By Robin Lynne Melet
Anyone looking for a fun and philanthropic way to enjoy the upcoming spring weather should consider joining in on Glen Helen’s first-ever Earth Day 5K Run/Walk. Help fulfill that forgotten New Year’s resolution at the Glen Helen nature preserve, in Yellow Springs. Glen Helen is home to 1,000 acres of woods, waterways, prairies and fields engraved with 25 miles of hiking trails and spotted with fishing ponds and bird watching lookouts. This year they will be hosting this 5K family fundraiser with proceeds to support and preserve its wilderness, year-round educational series and raptor rehabilitation programs.
Walk the paths of Glen Helen the morning of April 23 along Glen Helen Fire Road with your family and pets or run the race solo. Registration starts at 7:00 a.m., there will be a quarter-mile kid’s fun run at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K starts promptly at 9:00 a.m. Children who participate in the quarter-mile will receive a prize, a live sapling to take home and plant in honor of their involvement. There will also be activities for kids and adults throughout the day led by naturalists and partners. Online registration is happening now for $20.
“One of the great things about this race is that it’s not a road race on hard concrete and it’s not a steep, dirt-dawg trail,” said Brooke Bryan, project manager for the Glen Helen Ecology institute. “This is going to be a family-friendly event on the wide paths of our preserve.”
For anyone interested in contributing to the Glen Helen nature preserve but prefer to skip the physical involvement, you can participate as a “phantom runner.” Phantom runners receive the same free t-shirt that comes with race-day registration and they get the same warming in their hearts for contribution to an earthy cause, they just avoid the athlete’s foot both literally and figuratively. You can register online or in person and a t-shirt will be mailed to you. Phantom runners are welcome to participate in all Earth Day activities at Glen Helen, but there is no need to run.
If you do choose to hit the hills, awards will be given to overall and masters male/female winners and top three male/female winners in age groups ranging from 10 and under to 70 and older (must be registered as a timed 5K runner). Key Sports will be running the clocks and tallying results to determine the winners and bigger winners. There will also be an abundance of food and beverages at the finish line to replenish what you sweated out on the course.
Additional activities and programs at the Glen Helen nature preserve include 5-day Summer Ecocamps, the Trailside Science Museum, and natural history lessons and educational hikes through Naturalist Internship opportunities.
Located at 1075 State Route 343 in Yellow Springs, Glen Helen grounds and trails are open daily from dawn to dusk, leaving the opportunity for locals to celebrate Earth Day every day. What started as a grassroots movement by Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisc.) over our government’s involvement with the Vietnam Conflict, Earth Day has turned into a national, annual celebration of greenness and environmentalism. Glen Helen celebrates this year’s holiday with their Earth Day 5K Run/Walk, but encourages Daytonians and others to participate in their environmental programs and preserves as often as possible. Earth Day is a day of awareness and action through grassroots effort and demonstration. With modern issues such as climate change and globalization dominating political and educational arenas, it is a breath of fresh air to alight the paths of Glen Helen and remember what Earth Day is really about: your relationship with your family, friends, community and the Earth.
So help your midsection shrink faster than the polar ice caps, raise your heartbeat faster than the heat index and breathe the freshest air in town in your support of the Glen Helen nature preserve’s first-ever Earth Day 5K Run/Walk on April 23.
For more information on the Earth Day 5K or Glen Helen’s educational opportunities, please visit antiochcollege.org/glen_helen or call Brooke Bryan at (937) 769-1902, x1.
Reach DCP freelance writer
Robin Lynne Melet at