President’s 5K Run/2K Walk makes strides against inactivity

Runners take the course of the 2015 President's 5K Run/2K Walk

Runners navigate the course at the 2015 President's 5K Run/2K Walk

Sept. 20, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - By now you've probably heard it said that exercise is medicine.

Studies have shown that regular exercise - about 30 minutes of activity, five times per week - can be the key to preventing obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and a multitude of other ailments.

One form of exercise in particular is at the forefront of keeping one's health ahead of the race - running. The best part is that to get involved, all a person needs is the right pair of shoes and a willingness to keep moving.

To that end, the Slippery Rock University President's Commission on Wellness will offer a 5K Run/2K Walk Sept. 24 as part of its month-long series of events promoting wellness as an essential facet of life.

2016 President's 5K Run/2K Walk T-shirt

   T-shirt design for President's 5K Run/2K Walk

The commission, which the University launched four years ago, promotes awareness of wellness and attempts to empower people to embrace physical activity as part of their wellness profile. SRU's pillars of wellness include physical, nutritional and spiritual components.

The run/walk will be begin at 9 a.m. at the Aebersold Student Recreation Center, with registration taking place from 7:30-8:45 a.m. Participants, including SRU President Cheryl Norton, will make their way through campus and compete for top-finisher awards in student, non-student and 55-plus categories.

In addition to keeping fit, runners and walkers can jog for a good cause - undergraduate research scholarships.

Brock Jensen, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, said last year's event raised $3,000 for student scholarships.

"President Norton has commented that greater participation in classes and activities is likely when our campus population is healthier and has a culture geared toward wellness," Jensen said. "SRU, led by the exercise and rehabilitative sciences department, has been recognized for fostering a campus culture that embraces physical activity."

In fact, Norton, at her Sept. 8 State of the University address, noted that for the second consecutive year, SRU had received a "Healthiest Employers of Western Pennsylvania Award" from the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Additionally, the University's "Exercise is Medicine" program has achieved Gold level recognition from the American College of Sports Medicine, the organization that originated the global initiative. Of 50 organizations recognized for their programming, SRU was one of only 19 to earn Gold status.

According to Jensen, commission members scheduled the event to correspond with October being "Exercise is Medicine" month on campus. "Exercise is Medicine" is the belief that physical activity is integral in the prevention and treatments of diseases and should be regularly assessed and "treated" as part of all healthcare.

In conjunction with the month-long initiative, Carena Winters, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, will be placing poster boards throughout campus so that students, faculty and staff can take a pledge to be more active.

Race registration is $12 (with T-shirt) and $10 (without T-shirt) for students; $17 (with T-shirt) and $15 (without T-shirt) for non-students. Awards will be given in each of the following groups: top three overall (male and female); top SRU student (male and female); and top master runners (male and female) 55+ years of age. All proceeds will benefit SRU undergraduate research scholarships. Online registration is available at: https://www.givetosru.org/5k.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 | gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu