By Joshua Hawkins and William Wilson, JSHOP Reporters
Journalists attending the National Association of Black Journalists Convention are bringing more than just notebooks, pens, electronic devices and resumes. They are also bringing running shoes as NABJ will be hosting the 12th annual 5K Run, Walk, along with the newly added Bike Tour on Saturday.
Melanie Eversley and Dawn Roberts, NABJ running enthusiasts, who met at marathons along the East Coast decided to take over handling the event. They said planning the #NABJ18 Motor City 5K Run, Walk, Bike Powered by FCA US was not easy to accomplish.
“We wondered how we were going to pull this off in only two months and we were actually able to plan all this out in that amount of time.” Eversley said. “Our main goal… is also to bring health to people of color. We’re constantly recruiting.”
They designed a course that will help strengthen human bodies and promote health to others, according to the event website.
The Run, Walk, Bike will be held on Saturday, Aug. 4. It will start at 12:10 p.m. and the bike tour will begin at noon. This event is open to adults and children of all ages. The Registration fee for children aged 9 through 17 will be $20 on race day. For NABJ members, the cost and $25 on race day. For non-members, the cost is $30 on race day.
All participants will start at Hart Plaza at 1 John C Lodge Freeway. Runners and walkers will run along the scenic River Walk and on Jefferson Boulevard. Part of the bikers’ untimed tour will include a chance to see Second Baptist Church, a former Underground Railroad hub.
A new alternative available this year is the virtual running option. This allows an individual who can’t come to the race in Detroit to run at any time, anywhere, and the runner still gets the participation medal and a T-shirt via mail. It is just like the virtual runner was at the event.
Roberts and Eversley are also very strong motivators, usually urging others to have fitness in their lives.
“We think it’s important to encourage the entire family to come out.” replied Roberts when asked about the addition of the kids fun run. “We want to make sure people know it’s a family event. … We want to encourage fitness in the entire family.”
“This morning we were on the RiverWalk and we noticed there were some women .. and we invited them to come on down [to the run/walk event] and invite some of their friends.” Eversley said. These encouragements are always beneficial to any new strangers the two directors encounter who they wish to help.
“This race could not be accomplished without sponsorships,” they said. “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is the reason this event is being put on because they’re our key sponsors.”
The other sponsorship is Roberts’s own company, Elite Access Running. “We are a full-service running company and with that I combine my passion for journalism and sports.” said Roberts. “I’ve been running for over 20 years starting off in junior high school, high school, and college.”
Proceeds of this event go toward funding the NABJ High School Journalism Program and the young high school journalists. “We believe in JSHOP,” Eversley said. “JSHOP students are hard workers and we want to make sure [they are getting what they need].”