Off to a running start

She Runs Grand Rapids provides training tools, camaraderie
Photo courtesy of She Runs Grand Rapids

Women hoping to complete a half marathon, 10k or 5k as part of their New Year’s resolution will have some additional resources at their disposal thanks, in part, to people like Sammie Bennett.

Bennett is the co-leader of Lyon Street Running Club and a co-founder of Trail Sisters, a women’s trail running and online journal community.

“Running – and walking – can often be a very solitary endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be,” said Bennett, who also is on the committee for She Runs Grand Rapids, the first women’s-only half marathon event in Michigan. 

She Runs Grand Rapids aims to connect women through movement, achievement and friendship. The event was started by Gazelle Sports in 2013 as “Gazelle Girl,” and remains one of the largest events of its kind in the state. 

“Many people find they need the accountability of a group, someone they know is waiting for them to show up so that they will show up,” said Bennett.  “And for those new to the running and walking communities, finding mentors, people who have had more experience in the sport, can be invaluable in getting questions answered and getting you to the finish line!”

Photo courtesy of She Runs Grand Rapids

This year the She Runs Grand Rapids event is slated for Sunday, April 30 and includes a 5k and 10k run, which starts and finishes at Calder Plaza. 

In order to help with training for the event, which is sponsored for the second year in a row by University of Michigan Health–West, Gazelle Sports has compiled a comprehensive list of area running and walking groups, with personal and group coaching options; cross-training groups and a variety of free meetups for learning, networking and group runs and walks. 

“Additional training resources will provide an on-ramp for women who want to participate in She Runs Grand Rapids,” said Jennifer Brummitt, CEO of Gazelle Sports, which organizes or supports more than 200 community events throughout the year.

Registration, training resources and free meetups are available at

All proceeds from the 2023 She Runs Grand Rapids event will go to Girls on the Run West Michigan and the YWCA West Central Michigan.

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