Run for the Bling

Engage with the West Michigan Woman Community!

Races are great avenues for inspiration and motivation to live an active, healthy lifestyle. And sometimes, there's a little extra incentive: The Bling.

The Gazelle Girl Race, a female-only race dedicated to empowering women, is partnering with the Fifth Third River Bank Run and the American Home Fitness Detroit Women's Half Marathon to offer exclusive participation medals for women who participate in multiple events.

"Who doesn't love a little extra bling?" said Holly Visser, Gazelle Girl Half Marathon co-director.

A little extra bling for those extra miles.

Women who participate in the 5K, 10K or half marathon races at the Gazelle Girl event on April 23, 2017, could also join in one of the three Fifth Third River Bank Run races—5K, 10K or 25K—on May 13 to receive a special edition "Double Down Medal."

Additionally, Gazelle Girl Half Marathon participants who also complete the American Home Fitness Detroit Women's Half Marathon on September 17 will receive the exclusive Michigan MarathonHER medal.

Visser notes the medals serve as an extra incentive to go "just an inch more." If you're running the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon race, you're dang close to that 25K. Signing up for both races provides the incentive to keep training and push yourself just a little bit more.

And running is a great form of exercise. Forget restricted gym hours and commutes to facilities: As long as you're committed, you could work running into your own schedule, on your own time. "You just have to lace up your shoes and go," Visser said.

It might be a race, but you could be your own best competitor. "What you put in, you get out of it," Visser said. When you cross the finish line, you cross your own finish line. You trained and stuck to your schedule—and the medals recognize your hard work and dedication.

But really, it's not all about the bling. It's about living a healthier lifestyle, empowering yourself and benefiting the community. All proceeds from the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon go to local organizations: Girls on the Run of Kent County, the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) and the Gazelle Sports Foundation.

"Be brave," Visser said. "Take the first step ... Register."

 Photo courtesy of Rudy Malmquist.

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