Sunday, April 12, 2015

Charities Challenge Has Moved All Its Road Races and Events to New Suburban Locations

Below is what appeared at Charities Challenge Facebook group page on April 11, 2015 as the answer I posted in answer to a question about what's happened that Charities Challenge has moved its RxExercise - Exercise as Medicine run/walk events to northern Twin Cities suburbs (please join our Facebook group page to enjoy ongoing RxExercise news and events news, as well as to express your thoughts and questions ):

No more permits from St Paul Parks for Charities Challenge. So, CC has moved on to other warmly welcoming locations outside of St Paul.

Please understand that I'm looking forward, not looking back.

I'm very grateful to the faithful Charities Challenge Race Event Worker (CCREW) volunteers, events partners, and so many runner/walker participants who are already making the happy move to our other welcoming locations in Andover and Maple Grove. Our new locations include our new USATF certified courses.

After 10 years of 140+ CC events in St Paul Parks, below is an e-mail from St Paul Parks representative I received in December:

"I’m contacting you to inform you that on January 2nd we will not issue any permits to you or any representative of Charities Challenge for the 2015 permit season. It has been determined that the number of events for which you seek park permits exceeds what we consider reasonable.This does not mean you will be excluded from permits in 2015. Please contact me after January 2nd to schedule a meeting date to discuss your proposed events for 2015 and to determine the most appropriate manner in which to work with your organization."

I did pursue on behalf of CC a meeting with St Paul Parks representatives. One meeting was granted in January that resulted in our February 14 permit for our Valentines 5k. No more meetings with me about Charities Challenge being considered for St Paul Park permits were offered. By the end of February, with no more meetings offered, CC had to move on to other welcoming parks locations.

I'm pleased to report that the City of Maple Grove Parks and Police Departments, and Anoka County Parks, have been very helpfully welcoming to Charities Challenge. I am very pleased with the good personal and professional relationships I'm enjoying with these agencies. CC is getting a great and helpful reception. Hooray!

We're looking forward to rebuilding our events' attractiveness to more runners/walkers, many past participants and many new, to locations that include lovely indoor reception areas with entertainment, convenient and safe parking, gorgeous forested park paths in Andover, and unmatched hospitality and breakfasts at Claddagh Irish Pub & Restaurant in Maple Grove.

Check out photos from our new locations under CC's home page "Recent Events" section.

The St Patrick's Irish Traditions 5k in Maple Grove and Easter Sunday - Rise 'n' Shine 5k in Bunker Hills Regional Park images will show off "Miles of Smiles" and post-race happiness over fabulous hospitality.

Go runners & race walkers!

P.S. CC continues to enjoy a great relationship with the St Paul Police permits group for our Lederhosenlauf 5k in St Paul every June. That permit involves no St Paul Parks so we're very good to go with our 8th Annual Lederhosenlauf 5k on Saturday, June 13. A great and street safe event with the Germanic-American Institute. Wunderbar!

Coach Gary Westlund, Charities Challenge Founder/President
American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist
USA Track and Field Level 2 Certified Coach
A hopeful and happy guy

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Challenge Happiness 5k - The Only Happiness Road Race in America - Saturday, April 18, Bunker Hills Regional Park, Andover, MN

The Only Happiness Road Race in the USA experience is in Bunker Hills Regional Park in Andover, MN, next Saturday, April 18!

5k Event Records, Photos & more very happy and helpful info here Pre-register now!

You're invited to run, walk or volunteer at Charities Challenge 4th Annual Challenge Happiness 5k experience at Bunker Hills Regional Park in Andover, MN Saturday April 18, 9 AM start.
The event theme is: “Actively Pursuing Happiness”.

Enjoy all the following added values:
1. Commemorative Challenge Happiness 5k shirt.
2. Happy music announcer to give you a motivating shout-out.
3. Timing/scoring/records.

4. Fabulous online photos slideshow with free digital photos for you & Facebook. (Join Charities Challenge at Facebook, too!)
5. Indoor reception & post-race gathering in Activity Center; free and convenient parking.
6. Healthful tasty treats.
7. Happy CC Race Event Workers (CCREW) volunteers.
8. Motivating memories shared with family/friends of how you improved your own and others’ happiness, health & wellness by happily going the distance together.

9 AM Start - Race day registration & check-in opens at 8 AM.

Learn more about how "Happiness is a Serious Challenge" and how to "Train & Race for Happiness" at the event page, for yourself and your family & friends.

Timed/scored 5k on USATF certified course around beautiful, blooming Como Lake

Recognition: Complete 5k results by USATF Youth, Open, Masters (5-year age groups > age 40-80+)

Added values: Happy commemorative race shirt, CC hospitality, announcer, photos slideshow, motivational music & healthful tasty treats for all event participants.

This is the 1st in CC’s 2015 Life Challenge Series of 8x 5k Events highlighting RxExercise relative to life health challenges.

Learn more about the entire 8x 5k Life Challenge Series and more about “RxExercise and Happiness” at or call 612-245-9160.

Defeat Depression & Anger with RxExercise. RxExercise is effective in improving mild-to-moderate depression challenges, and even changing anger into joy!

Consult a physician for medical advice regarding depression, including when you choose to add/increase exercise, and especially if you choose to eliminate exercise from your life.