Annual Step Up Your Health Challenge Registration Opens

Annual Step Up Your Health Challenge Registration Opens

Loudoun Youth Inc.’s Eighth Annual Step Up Your Health Challenge is now only a couple weeks away. The group has opened registration for runners interested in participating in a 5K or 1 mile Fun Run at AOL’s Ashburn Campus.

There’s a special deal for those running on the behalf of Loudoun County Schools. Schools can earn money for their health and wellness initiatives by participating in the AOL 5K and Family Fun Run. Each group can earn back 70 percent of their pre-registration fees with 10 or more participants. Faculty, parents, students, neighbors or other community members can register on a school’s team.

“The Step Up Your Health Challenge is a great way for Loudoun’s families and individuals to get outside to exercise, enjoy family friendly entertainment and earn money for their schools at the same time,” Loudoun Youth, Inc. Executive Director Steve Wolfson said. “Not only is this a fun event, but there are cash prizes for the top three finishers for each gender and age group awards will also be given.”

AOL independently organized the first 5K and Fun Run as a part of its “Get Fit” program for employees. AOL Senior Manager Barbara Rust floated the idea to organize a 5K and donate money for every certain number of steps employees took.

In the event’s second year, AOL made Loudoun Youth the beneficiary of the event and Loudoun Youth has been the beneficiary ever since.

“We love to impact and help our local communities,” Rust said.

Then, in 2014, the two groups created the Step Up Your Health Challenge to encourage healthy activity.

“Everything we do as a nonprofit is to empower kids and connect them to the local community,” Melvin said.

The race starts at 8:30 a.m. May 7 at 22000 AOL Way in Ashburn. The event will include  music, entertainment and games, as well as have the chance to win cash prizes. Runners can pick up their technical t-shirt, bib and timing tag 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 6 at the AOL Campus. Race day packet pick up is from 7 to 8:15 a.m. May 7 at the registration area and parking will be available on site.

The pre-registration fees are $30 for the 5K and $10 for the fun run Fun Run. Online registration will close on 8 p.m. May 4. Race Day registration is $35 for the 5K and $15 for the Fun Run.

“70 percent of the proceeds go to Loudoun schools, 30 percent goes to Loudoun Youth but 100 percent is going to the kids,” Melvin said.