For the City of Grand Rapids, it was their second year hosting the 5K downtown, but this year also came with a lot of firsts. Not only was the course certified this year, it was the biggest one yet in their 21 year history.
Organizers say they had an early estimate of over 2,400 runners. They also had 1,800 runners pre-register compared to just 370 last year.
Organizers say it’s a sign the race is moving in the right direction. Kurt Johnson, Executive Director of K-12 athletics at Grand Rapids Public Schools says the event is focused around heath and wellness, all while helping the GRPS athletic program.
This run is one event among several the district relies on to help eliminate ‘pay to play’ for its students.
“Pay to play is becoming very real in some parts of the state and nation where students are paying 200-300 dollars per sport to participate in, so that have an impact on our students if they had to pay fees of that nature,” said Johnson.
Their next event is the Holiday Classic: http://www.grps.org/athletics/schedules-2/holiday-classic/