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HCC 5K Challenge Provides Participants Training Beyond the Gym

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Anyone who has committed to a race knows it can be difficult to balance training runs with work, family and other obligations.
With this in mind, the fourth annual Howard Community College (HCC) 5K Challenge Race has partnered with local organizations to improve health and wellness, with expanded offerings and opportunities beyond the gym. This year, the HCC Educational Foundation will offer race participants gymGo, a new virtual training option, as an extra benefit.
Columbia Association (CA), also a race partner, has committed to expanding weekly training runs, and is offering a Couch to 5K program to give employees of sponsoring companies a chance to get out and train, wherever they are.
“Every year we see participants who want to take part in our weekly trainings, but cannot due to travel or other commitments,” said Kari Ebeling, assistant director of development at HCC. “We wanted to give options for them to train along, even if they can’t physically be here.” On Oct. 29, more than 500 employees from more than 50 sponsoring companies and organizations will run, climb and crawl their way to the finish line at HCC’s Columbia campus. The event provides opportunities to promote health and corporate wellness along with teambuilding, while raising funds for student scholarships.
The HCC 5K Challenge Race specifically targets businesses, organizations and community groups, with corporate team sponsorships starting at $750. Employees of sponsoring companies are invited to weekly trainings and receive tips to improve their overall health and wellness. The event’s training opportunities differentiate this race from other running events. “Fitness today is more accessible than ever,” said Dan Burns, director of sports and fitness for CA. “There are activities that suit a wide variety of interests, and today’s technology makes it possible to bring many of these activities into the home or on the road with you,” he said.
“And with gymGO, HCC 5K Challenge Race participants can incorporate wellness into their routine with virtual training,” said Founder Donavan Cox. “Let’s say someone is doing the Challenge Race, but didn’t have the chance to attend weekly trainings because of traveling,” he pointed out. “This is a way for them to continue their training cycle conveniently.”
And race sponsors, like COPT, that have offices around Howard County, are excited about these new training options. “We can reach all of our employees to help build a healthier workforce,” said Elisa Wolf, principal analyst for COPT.
The HCC Educational Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports HCC and its students, expects to raise more than $100,000 for student scholarships through the event.
Sponsorships are still available for businesses and corporations. For more information on sponsorships or the HCC 5K Challenge Race, visit howardcc.edu/challenge or contact the HCC Educational Foundation at 443-518-1970.