On July 8 at 9am, Logan County will welcome its first race course certified by USA Track and Field (USATF), the national governing body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States.
For the past four years, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital (ALMH) has hosted Moving Forward, a walk/run at Edward Madigan State Park with proceeds benefitting local wellness programs. Typical runs in Logan County have been 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles. Last year the Moving Forward event included a 10K option (6.2 miles). Organizers felt that it was important to ensure the event was being held on an accurately measured course and so they contracted with a consultant to have the course certified using the Road Running Technical Council (RRTC) of USATF measurement standards.
As more runners and walkers use GPS watches and phones to track their distances and fitness levels it is increasingly important to offer accurately measured events.
“GPS signals are often blocked by trees, bridges, buildings, tunnels, etc. Using a course certification consultant ensures that we truly providing a 5K and 10K event to our participants,” said ALMH rehabilitation manager Todd Mourning, DPT, ALMH Director of Program Development and Rehab.
After the October 2014 event, the Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation (ALHF) began discussions with Edward Madigan State Park officials to install permanent signage at the park so that the public could use the certified course. In a collaborative effort, state park officials, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and ALMH representatives worked over the winter to obtain signs, verify their locations and arrange installation.
The public is invited to attend a brief ceremony and ribbon cutting on Wednesday, July 8 at 9 a.m. to introduce the course to the community. The event will take place at the start/finish line of the course which is located at the first parking lot on the right as you enter the park. Runners and walkers are invited to the first use of the course following the brief comments by park and ALMH officials.
“At ALMH our mission is to improve the health of the people and communities we serve. We support healthy lifestyles and choices. We take our responsibility to enrich our community’s quality of life seriously. Therefore we hope that having the course marked will provide encouragement for park visitors to walk or run the course while enjoying nature,” said ALHF executive director Sarah Helm.
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital is a community-based critical access hospital serving the people of Logan and eastern Mason County. The Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation was formed in 1986 to support the mission of ALMH. To learn more about this and other Foundation programs, call 217-605-5006 or visit ALMH.org.