Couch to 5K to get com­mu­nity mov­ing

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Elisha Mor­ri­son el­[email protected]­ton­courier.com

The Bryant Parks De­part­ment is look­ing to get the com­mu­nity mov­ing and ready for the Fall Fest 5K with its Couch to 5K pro­gram at 7 p.m. each Tues­day and Thurs­day at Mills Park.

“Couch to 5K is a pro­gram to help peo­ple be­gin to run,” said Ath­let­ics and Pro­gram Co­or­di­na­tor Chet Dy­cus.

There is no cost to take part. While the pro­gram will be help­ing peo­ple get ready for the Fall Fest 5K, which will be Sept. 28 at Bishop Park, Dy­cus said par­tic­i­pants do not have to par­tic­i­pate in the 5K, though he added it does make a “nice goal.”

Par­tic­i­pa­tion in the pro­gram does not reg­is­ter run­ners for the 5K.

Those who wish to par­tic­i­pate in the Fall Fest 5K can visit www.arkansas­run­ner.com to reg­is­ter. The reg­is­tra­tion fee for the 5K is $25 and in­cludes a T-shirt and goody bag, plus there will be awards for each age group and over­all awards.

Dy­cus said this pro­gram is for peo­ple of all lev­els of fit­ness. He ex­pects peo­ple to have dif­fer­ent goals. Some peo­ple will want to be able to fin­ish a 5K, oth­ers will want to be able to walk the whole event and oth­ers will be look­ing to be able to run the 5K without walk­ing.

The pro­gram is de­signed to ease par­tic­i­pants into run­ning.

“We feel it is a great way to en­cour­age peo­ple to get out and be ac­tive,” Dy­cus said.

He does not want any­one to feel over­whelmed.

So far, more than 50 par­tic­i­pants have signed up for the pro­gram. Dy­cus hopes to build a com­mu­nity of run­ners who can en­cour­age each other. He said com­mit­ting to run­ning can be a big hur­dle for many peo­ple but hav­ing a group to run with helps peo­ple stay with it.

Par­tic­i­pants will re­ceive a work­out sheet so if they miss ses­sions they can make it up. The pro­gram in­cludes a Satur­day run that par­tic­i­pants will do on their own. Dy­cus encourages peo­ple to take part even if they can­not be at every train­ing ses­sion.

This is the third year the de­part­ment have held Couch to 5K and

the third year Fall Fest has had a 5K.

Those who wish to take part in Couch to 5K can reg­is­ter at www.city­of­bryant.com/en­roll or at the train­ing ses­sion. Dy­cus said staff only ask for reg­is­tra­tion so they know how many peo­ple take part.

He ad­vises par­tic­i­pants wear com­fort­able clothes and run­ning shoes and to bring wa­ter. Wa­ter, do­nated by Big Red Stores, will be avail­able af­ter each ses­sion.

Dy­cus encourages peo­ple of all ages, from youth to se­niors, to take part.

“Ev­ery­one is wel­come — walk­ers, first-time run­ners, veteran run­ners,” he said.

In the event of in­clement weather, the ses­sions will move to The Cen­ter at Bishop Park. Dy­cus said to watch the park’s de­part­ment Face­book page for up­dates and an­nounce­ments.

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