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Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

Longest Day 5K Trail Run/Walk 


Ruth McCarty, 80, was the first to register for the 5k trail run/wallk at Blandford Nature Center.

Ruth McCarty, 80, was the first to register for the 5k trail run/wallk at Blandford Nature Center.

The 3rd annual Longest Day 5k Trail Run/Walk will be held on Friday, June 19, at 6 p.m. on the trails at Blandford Nature Center. The evening run/walk will benefit Blandford Nature Center, raising funds for their education, recreation and wildlife programs. In addition to the race, there will be a family-friendly “Summer Celebration” party, with children’s activities, live music, and food and beer sponsored by local businesses. Runners can sign up online at www.longestday5k.org or at Blandford Nature Center, located at 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI.

All ages are welcome to participate in the run/walk. In fact, 80-year-old Ruth McCarty was one of the first to register. The Grand Rapids clergy member is an avid walker with a long-time connection to Blandford and the outdoors. As an elementary school teacher in the 1950’s, McCarty welcomed Blandford founder Dr. Mary Jane Dockeray as a nature educator in her classroom. She also has a Master’s degree from Michigan State University in Outdoor Education.

Now living nearby, McCarty is able to come to Blandford to reconnect with nature and walk the 4 miles of Blandford trails. “Being out in nature is beneficial for the mind, body and spirit,” says McCarty. “It gives you a deeper awareness that everywhere is holy ground.”

“We are so excited to have Ruth join us to walk in the Longest Day 5k. Our goal is to host an event that brings the community together—people of all ages and fitness levels—outside in nature,” said Corey Turner, Development Manager for Blandford Nature Center. “We have families, co-workers and friends of all ages registered to run or walk together to support Blandford in a fun way.” For more information, please visit www.longestday5k.org.

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