GVSU faculty, students to participate in Gazelle Girl run

By Jenna Fracassi | 4/19/17 9:17pm


GVL / Courtesy - Gazelle Girl Half Marathon The Gazelle Girl Half Marathon will take place in Grand Rapids on Sunday, April 23, 2017. Late registrations extends until Saturday, April 22.

by Gazelle Girl Half Marathon / Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Gazelle Girl run is an event designed to honor women and celebrate Title IX. It is an all-women race, offering 5K, 10K and half-marathon distances.

Gazelle Sports is hosting the event to raise money for women’s charities, promote women’s health, enhance community partnerships and build relationships. This year, the Grand Valley State University Health and Wellness Department partnered with Gazelle Girl and formed a mentorship program between faculty, staff and students.

“What (GVSU) did is they got some faculty and professors to register, and they offered to pay the entrance fee for students who wanted to register as well,” said Tylee Bush, a junior at GVSU who will be running in the event this year. “Then, they paired together two to three students with one faculty member so that they could train together throughout the season and get ready for the race together.”

Bush said she found out about the races when she saw a flier in the Fieldhouse. She said her training team is made up of her, two other students and a faculty member.

Kay Hart, the office coordinator for the human resources department at GVSU and a member of the GVSU-sponsored Gazelle Girl team, said the training experience has been great at keeping her motivated.

“I have learned so much about the positive influence Gazelle Girl has on women and the idea that we, as women, are a great support system for each other,” Hart said via email. “It’s pretty empowering to know that in some small way you can make a difference, not only in the life of someone else through motivation and encouragement, but in that you receive the same motivation and encouragement from them as well.”

Hart said GVSU Health and Wellness interns led training sessions for the team every Tuesday. Preparation for the event started in February, with different workouts scheduled for each week. There are individual training plans offered for all three distances.

Sarah Langejans, a junior at GVSU, participated in the Gazelle Girl run last year and will be running again this year.

“You could kind of pick (how to train) based on what you were going for,” Langejans said. “If you really wanted to beat a personal record or whatever, you could run a harder training schedule. Every week, there were workouts that were sent out through the training program that got progressively longer depending on your distance. There were some fun days built in, cross-training days built in, but you could kind of make it what you wanted it to be as well.”

Bush said although the training was intense at times, preparing to run in Gazelle Girl has been a very rewarding experience.

“It’s been really great to help me just get focused on my running, and it’s been keeping me accountable and staying on top of how many miles I get in every week, so it’s been really good for me personally in that way,” Bush said.

Late registration for the event extends to Saturday, April 22, and the event will take place Sunday, April 23, in downtown Grand Rapids. For more information, visit www.gazellegirlhalfmarathon.com/.

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