Prior to being diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Raynaud’s Disease, Sharon Smith went from being an aerobics instructor, senior fitness instructor and an active participant in belly dancing to not being able to reach up to her kitchen cabinet to get a glass down and being couch-bound for nearly two years.
After her formal diagnosis and treatment to get her pain under control, Smith began to work with a personal trainer and take small steps to get back into shape. Now, nearly a year later and with encouragement from her 10 year old son, she will be participating in Saturday’s 14th Annual Eagle Run presented by HealthSpan.
“My son has developed a passion for running, and was thrilled at the prospect of running the Eagle Run together,” says Smith. “I wanted to support and encourage him to live a healthy lifestyle, and have a goal of my own to work towards, so I agreed and signed up.”
As an employee of the French Creek YMCA, Smith says her participation has an added bonus, “I am proud to support an event that does so much to improve the lives of members of the community.”
While Smith looks forward to the tremendous sense of accomplishment she will achieve when she crosses the finish line, she has some words of wisdom to share with individuals who may be on the fence about participating.
“It doesn’t matter if you walk part of the course and jog the rest. And, it doesn’t matter if you finish first or last, as long as you finish,” says Smith.
On Saturday, May 24, Smith, her son and runners and walkers of all ages will take to the streets of Avon for the 14th Annual Eagle Run presented by HealthSpan to benefit Avon Schools Educational Endowment Fund as well as the French Creek YMCA and other local charities. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. at Avon High School, 37545 Detroit Road in Avon.
- A 5-mile chip timed run beginning at 8:30 a.m.
- A 5k chip timed run/walk beginning at 8:45 a.m.
- A 1-mile kids fun run beginning at 10 a.m. (ages 13 and under)
Cash awards will be provided to the top three male and female runners overall in the 5-mile run. All participants will have the opportunity to participate in health screenings, post-run stretching and massages provided by Mercy. The first 750 paid adult entrants will receive a technical T-shirt and hat. All participants in the 1-mile kids fun run receive an award and a T-shirt.
Registration is still open. Individuals can pre-register at www.avonlocalschools.org or www.hermescleveland.com/roadracing/events/eagle.asp. Pre-registration entry fees for the 5-mile run and 5k/run walk are $20 and $10 for the 1-mile kids fun run. Preregistration ends May 23 at 9 a.m. Race day registration fees are $25 for the 5-mile run and 5k run/walk and $15 for the 1-mile kids fun.