For a group that prides itself on high-five’s and group energy, it is fair to say that Running Medicine (RM) has had some challenges this year.
“I would say we have just gotten creative. No option to stop moving, but we just have to adapt to moving in a way that is safe for everyone,” says Ashleigh Claw, one of Running Medicine’s leaders. “Indeed, in the first week of registration for the fall season, the RM Albuquerque group had close to 200 people register.”
RM will begin the fall season with all five of the RM sites joining together with for the “Running Medicine Fall Season Opening Ceremony” by Zoom this Saturday, Aug. 29 at 8 a.m.
The sites include three in the Albuquerque area, one in Zuni Pueblo and one in Acoma/Laguna Pueblos. The event is free and open to all community members.
“We are excited to have Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Verna Volker (founder of Native Women Running), Teton Saltes (UNM Football Player, pre-season All-American), and Jordan Hamm of Brooks Sports Inc. attending the virtual ceremony. Expect a lot of fun and positive energy,” said Danielle Hopkins, another of RM’s leaders.
It is not only locally that Running Medicine (RM) has gained attention. Earlier this month, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded RM its prestigious Sports Award that recognizes programs using sports to improve the health of their communities. In 2017, RM received a national AmeriCorps award as “Best New Program.”
“The opening ceremony is a big thing for us. We expect more than 200 people, including some giveaways and traditional Native culture. We want people to celebrate life and the chance to improve our health this fall,” says Dewayne Carl, RM Youth Program director.
RM began in 2016 as a program of the Native Health Initiative, a love-grounded non-profit organization. RM believes that movement is medicine for mind, body and spirit and has a vision of created a culture of wellness through walking and running.
All are welcome to join Running Medicine this fall, regardless of location.
“One of the positives of the pandemic and a virtual world is that it is a time to connect us across our usual geographic barriers. We welcome anyone who wants to be a part of RM this fall to sign up and join us!” said Claw.
Registration and more information are available at Running Medicine.
Anthony Fleg, Running Medicine Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
Running Medicine website – https://runningmedicine.org
Fall Season Opening Ceremony Zoom link - https://hsc-unm.zoom.us/j/8588003087