The inaugural event will take place on Sept. 14
On Saturday, Sept. 14, Montgomery Blair High School will be hosting the Red and Blue 5K in partnership with Montgomery County First Responders. The 5K is the first run the school has ever hosted.
The race will start at 8:30 a.m. in front of Blair and wrap up around 11 a.m. in the same spot. Most of the roads that racers will travel on are in the Woodmoor neighborhood (Williamsburg Drive, St Lawrence Drive, Hillmore Drive, and Lexington Drive). The only major road that runners will have to cross is University Boulevard, which will temporarily be closed to traffic.
Registration fees for the event are $15 for students with a valid ID card and $25 for adults. Elementary schoolers can participate in a free fun run on Blair’s track. As of now, there are over 100 people signed up to race; the maximum capacity is 200.
The race was organized to support wellness in the Silver Spring community. All the proceeds will go towards supporting Blair's wellness initiatives, including mental health awareness, promoting mindfulness and Be Well 365, an MCPS program designed to address the well-being of students.
The reason the Montgomery County First Responders stepped in to support is because of the race’s support of wellness. School Resource Officer Sharese Junious and twelfth-grade assistant principal Dr. Nicole Allain looked at the Silver Spring community and found that many organizations — the fire station right next to Blair, the police station and Blair administration itself - are invested in promoting wellness, so a wellness run was a good opportunity for these organizations to come together.
Allain helped organize the 5K and outlined the preparations for the race. She and the other organizers (Junious and Dr. Joseph Fanning) started planning last December, then after running into roadblocks, continued for most of the spring and the entire summer.
Organizing the run involved getting county and school permission, obtaining permits, shutting down roads and generally ensuring participants' safety. The partnership with the Montgomery County Police and First Responders and other county organizations required going through legal departments, liability and making sure the race was covered by insurance.
Allain said inspiration for the 5K also came from several staff members. “Last year Ms. Johnson developed wellness teams and we participated as a faculty. Some of the staff members participated in a 5K and she thought it would be really good to bring together the Blair community by hosting our own 5K and to have the proceeds go to the wellness initiative BeWell365,” she said.
The race is expected to attract first responders, people from the Silver Spring community, Blair alumni and Blair families. If successful, it may become a yearly occurrence. Regardless, the 5K is a healthy and fun way to support Blair and the entire Silver Spring community.
Allain is also looking forward to all of the activities planned for the day. “We’re really excited. We have a very healthy and active community. We're looking really to promote removing the stigma from mental health. A lot of people are coming out and 95.5 (WPGC) will be broadcasting live. There’ll be a lot of fun wellness activities, Gruff the crime dog and opportunities for giveaways. It should be a family fun day,” Allain said.
Shruti Chauhan. Hi, I'm Shruti and I'm a junior at Blair! Apart from writing for SCO, I enjoy playing tennis, biking, and watching Netflix. More »