Five 5K’s: Race #1 – “Megan Koepke’s Catch the Spirit 5K”

First off, I’ve never been a runner and I’ve always wondered why someone would think that running, of all things, would be considered a “fun” activity. Before I started training to meet my 2011 goal, the last time I ran ( a mile or more) was in eighth grade. But, as I sat down to make my 2011 New Year’s Goal I knew that running would be something that would push me to my limits, as well as help me tackle my goal of keeping healthy and active in 2011…so I figured, “Why not, it can’t be that bad!” – I can give this whole running thing a shot. So, for my 2011 New Year’s Goal, I decided that I was going to run five 5K’s this year.

My 5K goal is all about supporting the community and local organizations, and growing as a person, mentally and physically, along the way. So, I’m happy to announce that I’ll be running my first 5K this week! On Wednesday, May 4, I’m running the “Megan Koepke Catch the Spirit 5K” in Waverly, Iowa, which benefits Children’s Cancer Connection’s Camp Heart Connection, a yearly camp for children battling cancer and their siblings.

Megan Koepke, at Camp Heart Connection.

Megan Koepke, who the race is named after, attended Camp Heart Connection from 2000 – 2006 and she loved camp. Many of the counselors, campers and staff would call her “Queen Megan,” as she was seen wearing a feather boa and tiara on a regular basis. She was full of life and laughter. Unfortunately, Megan lost her battle with cancer and passed away at the age of 12.

“After Megan’s first experience at camp, we felt like we were part of a very large support network and extended family,” says Rhonda, Megan’s mom. “It was so wonderful to allow all of our daughters a ‘normal’ camp experience, a time to not worry about our lives with cancer in it. We were fortunate to also be able to put together our own fundraiser for the camp program at Megan’s school.”

For the past 5 years Megan’s friends, family and the Waverly-Shell Rock Junior High School have held a 5K Run/Walk, which winds around the scenic Cedar River and then returns to the Junior High School, a meal and a carnival to celebrate her life.

Since I will be in Waverly on Wednesday, I decided that this 5K would be a good race to run for my first 5K experience! While I’m a little nervous for the race itself, I’m excited to kick off my five 5K’s by supporting this great race and cause.

Des Moines Runners – I’m still looking for a couple of races to run/support. Have you run any 5K’s in Des Moines that you would recommend? Please leave a comment below and let me know of your favorite races around the Des Moines area.


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