Monroe residents looking for a place to get outside this summer and enjoy nature while getting in shape and helping a local cause can do just that at the Guts on the Run event in September. Held at Lord Hill Regional County Park, Guts on the Run is a 5-mile run/walk benefiting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).
Monroe resident Sara Redfield is putting on the event because she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2011 and wants to raise awareness and funds for treatment and cure research. According to the National Library of Medicine’s website, Crohn’s Disease is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that affects the gastrointestinal tract and causes chronic inflammation leading to symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping. Like Sara, many people find relief with surgery to remove scar tissue.
“Since my diagnosis, I have turned to running for both physical and mental relief. I have found that running helps my symptoms and my general outlook about this chronic disease,” she said. “Through Guts on the Run, I am hoping to make more people aware of Crohn’s and IBD and to raise about $2,500 for the CCFA.”
If you haven’t been to Lord Hill Regional Park, training for the run, which takes place on September 29, is the perfect chance to get out and explore. A mere six miles west of Lake Tye, Lord Hill is Snohomish County’s largest park, and boasts over 11 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. An unassuming turn off Old Snohomish Monroe Road will take you straight to the parking area. From there, a number of trails lead through the forest to meadows, ponds and lakes, where one may want to stop and admire the trillium flowers along the way.
Anyone who can walk five miles is welcome to participate in the race, which will consist of single track trail and double track road with some varying terrain and hills.
Sara suggests that people prepare by getting outside and going for a run and/or walk a few times a week and slowly build up their mileage and stamina. Training does not have to be on the trails, but people may find it to be much more fun.
The Guts on the Run event will start at 9:30 a.m. (check-in/registration opens at 8 a.m.) and all proceeds from the $30 entry fee will benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Registration is currently open online at www.gutsontherun.com, where direct donations can also be made.
“[Irritable Bowel Disease] isn’t really a topic most people are openly talking about,” Sara said, “but more and more Americans, including children, are being diagnosed with these diseases and it’s time that we give these diseases the attention they deserve and the money needed to fund research for cures.”