By Christine Bryant
After a successful inaugural year, the Columbus Westside Running Club is gearing up for its second Hilltop USA 5K this summer.
The event, which will take place July 6, will take an expected 500 participants along the Camp Chase Trail. The race will include both a walking and running option.
“There is also a ruck race being held for participants that would like the added challenge of carrying 35 pounds of weight as they participate,” partnership director Heidi Tybee said.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Veterans on the Hilltop, while offering an opportunity for exercise and community togetherness, Tybee said.
“The course begins at Glenwood United Methodist Church, and follows the Camp Chase Trail for a 5K out and back,” she said. “The race is great for individuals of all fitness levels because there will be walkers and runners.”
The race begins at 8:30 a.m., with a pre-race expo starting at 7 a.m.
“The Hilltop USA 5K is a unique 5K because it offers a pre-race expo,” Tybee said. “The expo will have many community partners and companies from the Hilltop showcasing their involvement in our area.”
At the end of the race, organizers will award age-group prizes for both men and women.
The 5K race is organized by the Columbus Westside Running Club, which is a free club for walkers and runners of all ages and abilities. The group hosts weekly meet-ups to encourage good health and community in the Hilltop area, Tybee said.
Free group runs are held around 6:15 p.m. each Tuesday, at Westgate Park by the party shelter.
The organization began because of residents’ desire to promote good health and fitness, while showcasing the value and deep history the Westside offers, Tybee said.
“The runs at Westgate Park provide us a chance to see our community and to enjoy what it has to offer,” she said.
In addition to the 5K race, group members participate in other community initiatives, such as a monthly trash pickup along the Camp Chase Trail.
“The veterans of the Hilltop support our community and it is our pleasure to support them,” she said.
The cost to participate in the July 6 5K is $20 at press time, with price increases planned closer to the race date. Glenwood United Methodist Church is located at 2833 Valleyview Drive, Columbus.
For more information, go to hilltopusa5k.com.