Baylor Wellness fires students up to be their best selves in 5K

Love the Run You're With is a 5K done every year by Baylor Wellness to facilitate body positivity, supportive relationships, celebrate varying fitness levels and overall wellness. Lariat file photo

By Mallory Harris | Staff Writer

For the fifth year in a row, Baylor Wellness is having their Love the Run You’re With 5K in person on Friday. Starting by the Baylor Sciences Building, runners will follow the Bear Trail with a rolling start time to avoid crowding. With underlying themes of body positivity and finding your own wellness, director of wellness Dominque Hill said she’s excited to see who crosses the finish line first.

“It’s a race that supports positive relationships, body positivity and just joyful movement,” Hill said. “Those who participate can run, they can jog, they can walk around the course … participants can just enjoy a positive message, you know?”

In previous years, the race has been held in February, known as the month of love, but due to university event restrictions, Hill said how the race was pushed back.

Brentwood, Tenn. graduate assistant Balee Schwalb said this project is a really big project for her in many ways. Comparing the race from last year when it was held virtually, Schwalb explained how she really enjoyed the challenges this year brought and the opportunity to grow in herself.

“I love problem solving, this year that’s been the name of the game in thinking, ‘This is the course we normally use, but there’s construction so I can’t do that this time,’ or, ‘Here’s a vendor that we normally use, but how can we use that vendor safely and within COVID-19 guidelines and how can we still make the race fun?’” Schwalb said.

Diving deeper into the theme and taking ownership of her work, Schwalb said this race is meant for students to find their own form of wellness. Whether that be physically or mentally, Schwalb said the idea that everyone’s story can’t be told just from looking at them.

“As a whole, we hope that students can find what wellness means to them. Maybe you aren’t in a position to dedicate 30 minutes a day to working out but maybe you can just practice mindfulness,” Schwalb said.

Hill said this race got started from a desire to bring many people together who were at varying levels of fitness. To accomplish that, Hill explained how supporting relationships and encouraging body positivity are other important components of the race.

“We encourage people, specifically at the race, of all activity levels to come; so, if you’re a person who can do a 5K in 25 minutes, great, run your 5K super fast. If you’re someone who’s going to walk it, you could also do that,” Schwalb said.

As the race starts at 3 p.m. and goes until 7 p.m., students must register and pay a $10 fee beforehand. Gathering people to move around, get their heart rates up and enjoying movement with friends is a high expectation, Hill and Schwalb said.

“The most fun part for me is the people coming through the finish line because it’s a group of people cheering and jumping up and down and really encouraging the people as they cross the finish line, it’s so fun it’s like a celebration,” Hill said.