Thousands of eager runners gathered in downtown Grand Rapids on a hazy and warm Saturday morning for the 46th annual Amway River Bank Run.
Runners flooded the streets and sidewalks on May 13 as they prepared to take their first steps, weather they were running the 5K, 10K or 25K.
Alejandro Quiroga, MD, president, Corewell Health in West Michigan, was on hand delivering welcome remarks.
“It’s a great day and we’re so happy to be here,” Dr. Quiroga said. “This is all about having fun, being healthy and enjoying ourselves.”
He stressed the importance of keeping healthy and active as Corewell Health staff were on-hand to offer medical support to anyone in distress.
At the ready with medical assistance
Corewell Health has been the official health partner and medical provider at the River Bank Run since 2018.
Nearly 100 Corewell Health orthopedics providers were on hand to help any runners who needed assistance. And another 100 volunteers staffed hydration stations along the way.
The race also included a 10K and 25K option, as well as a 5K walk and 25K race for hand cyclists and wheelchair racers.
Results from this year’s race can be found at amwayriverbankrun.com.
Kids can run too
Earlier in the week more than 500 local kids participated in Amway Junior presented by Corewell Health’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital at Kentwood Middle School.
The race organizers worked hand-in-hand with school running programs offered in elementary schools across West Michigan.
“Running in this race is just the beginning of an understanding of healthy living for kids,” Stacy Emmert, a physician assistant at Corewell Health, said. “We see a lot of obesity in children and getting them up and moving at this age is so important.”
Parents and kids took off at the starting line running in groups while a crowd cheered from the bleachers.
“Look at you go, you can do it,” one parent said.
Two-year-old Matthias Benavides participated in the Amway Junior for the first time and was very excited.
His mother said he loved seeing a bunny and turtle run but got a little emotional with the size of the crowd.
“One thing is for sure … these kids are going to sleep well tonight,” race director Russ Hines said.