NORTH & CENTRAL FLORIDA'S RACING CHALLENGE!
In the last four years, the evolution of the Big Hammock Race Series has gone from an idea to get runners excited about staying healthy and promoting movement, to a nonprofit organization focused on reducing obesity, and encouraging participants to live a healthy lifestyle. The series includes challenges for all race levels, more swag, prizes and opportunities to meet new friends and stay healthy. The series gives back to the community by providing the opportunity and awareness to local runners to be a part of local races that ultimately raise money for charities throughout the area.
The series also provides a community of supportive people and the empowerment you get when you surround yourself with people who know exactly what you are experiencing. The series challenges you to do things you have never done before and to believe in yourself. The BHRS will motivate you to keep moving all year long and inspires others to be their best in a fun way.
Join the evolution of running in North Central Florida by registering along with your favorite running buddies today… We can’t wait to see you out there!
Big Hammock Race Series, Inc is a 501(c)(3) organization. Federal Tax ID number is 81-4739862. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE (800-435-7352) FROM WITHIN THE STATE, REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
The Runners Behind the Series
Two local runners, Karen Donnelly and Tina Banner, never imagined that the idea behind packaging races together for a bigger cause would take off the way it has in North Central Florida. The series has brought the running community together and has motivated others to stay active either individually or together as a family.
Karen Donnelly started running in 2010 when she decided to run for a cause that was near to her heart. She knew that running for something she believed in was a way to advocate for causes that were important and meaningful to her. She has always felt that running is personal and that everyone's goals are different based on their expectations and training. It's not a one shoe fits all. She has always said, you can't look at one person and say they look fast or they look slow, the body is an amazing creature. With seven marathons under her belt, 25 half marathons and too many 15ks, 10ks and 5ks to count, Karen is committed to fitness and ready for the next challenge.
Tina Banner started running in 2012 when her children picked up cross country in high school. For Tina, it was either waiting for her kids to be done or getting out there with the other parents and run while the kids were at practice. Tina can remember when she was able to run her first mile without stopping and what that accomplishment felt like. Fast forward to today, Tina has completed four marathons, 19 half marathons and numerous 15ks, 10ks and 5ks. She has made a ton of new friends who would have never entered her life if she had not laced up her shoes and hit the road.
The Bigger Story
Since 2010, Marion County, Fla has generally been in the lowest one-third of counties throughout the state in health factors and outcomes. In 2015, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked Marion County 42 of 67 counties for poor health. The report revealed that one-third of Marion County residents are obese & nearly another one-third live a sedentary lifestyle with no regular exercise.
In Marion County, the top three causes of death are heart disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease. All of these are highly susceptible to behavior modification. In 2015, a Community Health Assessment was done and revealed the most important Marion County health issues named were obesity, mental health, age problem, heart disease and stroke. Citizens and business leaders identified overweight and obesity as leading somewhat or big problems in our community. Obesity is a critical factor for chronic disease and a major indicator for poor health. Fitness levels affect both workplace behavior and family life. More than 10 percent of sick leave and productivity loss at work are found to be likely due to lifestyle behaviors and obesity. Obesity has the most impact on poor performance in the workplace and obese workers were 66 percent more likely to call in sick for 10 to 24 days than normal-weight workers. Fifty-five percent are more likely to take more than 25 days.
This series was put together to help improve the health of our community and get people moving.