When Kathy Shipes and her husband, Chuck, first enrolled in a boot camp at the Cantrell Wellness Center in Warner Robins, she said she was around 50 years old and wanted to have some accountability about fitness. A requirement of the boot camp was to run the annual Cantrell Center 5K, and since then she has participated in it every year except one, due to a neck injury, and even then, she was there volunteering.
Now that she has retired, Shipes said she goes to the center and volunteers, where the staff have become a lot “like family.”
“I enjoy volunteering,” she said, adding that she enjoys being around people.
Shipes said she was drawn to the run because the focus of it was “not about winning … it was about finishing.”
“I like that they focused more on that for people to just get started doing something,” she said.
Now, going to the gym three times a week is just a part of her lifestyle to stay healthy, Shipes said.
According to Tassie Cantrell, physical therapist owner of The Cantrell Center, helping people in the community to get healthy and reaching “first timers,” people who have never run a race, is the goal of the 10th annual Cantrell Center 5K & Fun Run.
“That is how the 5K got started,” Cantrell said. “We wanted to help people get healthy. We have the Wellness Center that does just that; we have experienced, certified trainers who have degrees in exercises physiology, and they help people find a lifestyle of fitness that is right for them, but we realized that not everybody can afford to go to a wellness facility or gym. The target was to get people who are normally sedentary to find a way to get up and get moving.”
As a result, Cantrell said they created an exclusive, eight-week program “from couch to 5K in eight weeks” that is laid out in a calendar that participants receive when they register for the run. Participants can choose a walking or a running program calendar, which details from New Year’s Day to the weekend of the run, exactly what they need to do to be prepared for the 5K run.
“This is just a way the Cantrell Center has given back to the community,” she said.
The 5K, according to Cantrell, typically has 35 to 40 percent of its participants as first-time runners, “which is a huge, huge deal,” she said.
Proceeds from the event goes toBeverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital, Navicent Health, which is part of the Children's Miracle Network, Cantrell said. Last year, they donated more than $8,000 to the hospital.
The 5K run will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and the one-mile Fun Run will start at 9:15 a.m. To register early, go online at www.cantrellcenter.com and click on the 5K link. Registration on race day begins at 7:30 a.m. The race starts and finishes at The Cantrell Center. More than $1,000 in prizes will be given away by vendors at the event, Cantrell said. WDEN broadcasting live that morning and entertainment will include Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell, the University of Georgia Georgettes, an ice princess and a disc jockey.