Local runners encourage community participation in New Year’s Day event

December 30, 2019 | 3:09 am

Updated December 29, 2019 | 3:07 pm

The New Year's Day run is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday. | Photo submitted

Last year Dylan Hammons and his friends of PRoject Rise brought back an Owensboro tradition that will kick off the new year once again at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Runners and walkers of all paces will show up to complete an out and back course, not based on distance, but on time — 20 minutes and 20 seconds to ring in 2020.

“This is for everyone,” Hammons said. “Running, moving, exercising; as a community, this is what brings us together, and in no better place will you find all different levels of fitness. The one thing they always did in years past that I thought was cool is that you ran the time of the year. No matter what level you are running, you are all finishing around the same time.”

For Hammons and many others in Owensboro, the New Year’s Day run may be their introduction to others in the running community. With an estimated 90 participants in its first year back, it comes as an encouragement for many more to participate and meet others on a journey to health and fitness.

“You’d be very encouraged to see how many different shapes, sizes, and levels of fitness that participate,” Hammons said. “Running is free fitness. You don’t have to buy a membership. If you want to do it there is always someone to tie into.”

That community is what Hammons and fellow event organizers from RPI (Rehabilitation and Performance Institute) wanted to keep at the core of this free event.

“We want people to meet and connect further to create their community on their journey,” Hammons said. “We hope people will come out and take that chance and maybe step out of their boundaries and let fear stay in 2019 and take that first step into 2020.”

Everyone is welcome and it’s a family-friendly event.

“This takes out the competition to it, and you just show up and be a part of the Owensboro running community at your own pace and your own level,” Hammons said. “No matter what pace you are, you are never going to be behind. Your heart doesn’t know pace; your heart only knows effort.

The free event will have hot chocolate at the finish. No registration is necessary. To participate, join fellow runners and walkers at the Ben Hawes Golf Course and Park at 400 Booth Field Road Owensboro, Ky., 42301.

December 30, 2019 | 3:09 am

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