Credit: Stock image | Pixabay

St. Joseph Healthcare will host its first-ever Commit to Get Fit 5k/10k fun run in September to encourage the community to get out and get active.

Proceeds from the race — which will start at 8:45 a.m. Sept. 29 at Broadway Park in Bangor — will benefit St. Joe’s SAFE Nurse program, which supports victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking.

St. Joe’s wanted to run a community event that promotes getting active but is as inclusive as possible. The Commit to Get Fit includes 5km and 10km options for both runners and walkers, as well as a virtual 5km for those who can’t make it on the day. There will also be a kids’ fun run around Broadway Park, where the race will start and finish. The run course will take in parts of downtown Bangor as well as the Kenduskeag river trail.

The Commit to Get Fit is being planned and executed by a volunteer committee that includes St. Joe’s employees, as well as others well-known in the running community, such as Epic Sports’ owner Brad Ryder.

Although the race is still two months away, a number of training groups are already meeting regularly to encourage each other on the journey to better fitness. St. Joe’s is also supporting registered participants with hints, tips and educational sessions offered in partnership with sponsor Dragonfly Physical Therapy.

With more than 120 runners and walkers already registered, St. Joe’s is hoping to have about 250 participants come race day. They’ve adopted the tagline of “walk, run, cheer or volunteer,” giving everyone a chance to be part of this fun event, even if they’re unable to run or walk on the day.

St. Joseph Healthcare President Mary Prybylo said that the Commit to Get Fit is a dual-purpose event. It is a family-oriented event that offers the opportunity for people to get active, whether they’re walking their first-ever 5k or running for a personal best in the 10k.

Proceeds from the race, gathered through both registrations and sponsorship, will go to St. Joe’s SAFE Nurse program. St. Joe’s SAFE Nurses are specially-trained and state-certified to support the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking victims.

“The Commit offers a chance for St. Joe’s to demonstrate that we’re committed to helping our patients and our community live a healthier, more active life. In doing that, it’s wonderful that we’re also raising funds to support a service that is vital for some of the most vulnerable people in our community – those who need the specialized care of a SAFE Nurse,” Prybylo said. “I’m excited for race day and can’t wait to be a part of it.”

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If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.