By Christine Bryant
Mark Sigrist believes women are the backbone of this country. That’s why he wants to pay tribute to them once again this year with the Greater Columbus Ladies Only 5K Run/Walk.
“I want to honor them by organizing a ladies-only life-affirming event on Mother’s Day, their day,” he said.
This year’s event will take place at 8 a.m. May 11 in Grove City. The start and finish location is 1239 Lamplighter Drive, about five minutes southeast of the I-71 Stringtown Road exit. Ample parking is available in front of the AMC Theatre 14 located nearby, Sigrist said.
“For those who value health and exercise, I want them to come out at the start of their day, and get their daily exercise with some structure and pageantry,” he said. “It can be an organized way for them to start their day with their mothers, daughters, sisters and friends and just walk or run over a 3.1-mile course, and validate their health.”
Cost is $35 to register for 19 and older, with cost for 18 and younger at $30. Proceeds from the event will go toward the Mount Carmel Foundation Women’s Health Fund and KidSMILES, a pediatric, non-profit dental clinic in Columbus that provides a variety of dental services to children ages 18 and younger at a reduced cost.
“The Mother’s Day 5K will make a substantial impact to help us provide dental care to children in need,” said Julie Homon, executive director of KidSMILES.
Since opening in December 2012, the clinic has treated more than 200 children.
“We have treated some folks from the Grove City area and have been to many schools with our outreach program,” Homon said. “We are so grateful for all of the hard work that Mark Sigrist has put into making this event a success.”
Together with family and friends, Sigrist organized the first Thanksgiving Day 5K, called the Thanksgiving Wattle, in Grove City in 2012.
“We had over 1,100 participants,” he said. “I noted how 63 percent of the participants were ladies.”
Shortly after the Thanksgiving Day event, Sigrist put an inquiry on Facebook and found respondents were overwhelmingly in favor of a Ladies Only Mother’s Day run.
“We had a very enthusiastic response – more likes, comments and hits than any posting that led up to the 2012 Wattle,” he said. “They gave me all the input I needed to try.”
On Mother’s Day in 2013, the first Central Ohio Ladies Only 5K Event was held, with more than 450 entrants.
“We believe we can achieve over 700 in our second year, this year,” Sigrist said. “Our sign-ups are about 40 percent above last year’s race.”
Most of the course is run on the Buckeye Parkway in Grove City, which Sigrist says is rolling and majestic.
“I am not aware of a better 5K course to run or walk on in central Ohio,” he said.
To register, go online to columbusmothersdayrun.com, or register in person at 4152 Buckeye Parkway or the Upper Arlington Front Runner location on Lane Avenue May 8-10. There also will be event-day registration at AMC Theatre 14 in Grove City the morning of the event.
For more information on KidSMILES, go to kidsmilesclinic.com.