Organizations Back the Blue 5K and Back the Badge Michigan host first annual 5K Run in Lansing
Come out and enjoy a fun fill afternoon with family and friends at the first annual Back the Blue 5K and Community Building event, hosted by the Adado Riverfront Park on Sept. 23, located on 300 N. Grand Ave. Courtesy of the groups, Back the Blue 5K and Back the Badge Michigan, their mission is to strive to unite the surrounding Lansing community with local law enforcement, both current and retired.
Back the Blue 5K is a 3.2 mile run and walk, followed by a one-mile fun run for kids and police officers, who will also participate in the race after they run the 5K. Law enforcement gear up for the race in head-to-toe uniform.
In addition to the 5K event, there will be different community activities with local police officers, including entertainment, vendors, games and a timed event to see if anyone can “Outrun the Cops.” The goal is to let the community and officers alike to get to know each other on a deeper level.
Back the Badge Michigan is a group that works to honor and support Michigan Law Enforcement. They organize fundraisers, such as Back the Blue 5K, to help aid law enforcement with amenities like K-9 trauma kits for local departments. They also work with other support groups to raise funds to help the families of Michigan’s fallen officers, injured officers and Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
With all the negative press about law enforcement over the past few years, Back the Blue 5K recognized a need to rally behind police officers and other law enforcement agencies. Both groups, though separate organizations, work together to promote one common theme: communal unity.
Amy Waldrop, president of Back the Badge Michigan, enjoyed the idea of the race because it helps bring the community together. Waldrop's group connected with Back the Blue 5K organization and made the idea a reality.
“The Lansing officers came to us and said, 'Hey this is a pretty cool idea to do a 5K where we run with the community,'” Waldrop said. “Since we’re a law enforcement support group, we said, 'Ok, we don’t know anything about 5K’s, but we’ll try it.' And then we contacted a couple national sponsors. ... You just have to write a letter saying why your community needs this. So, we wrote them a letter, told them why our community needs this, and we were selected."
Business Administrator, Sean Loomis, with Back the Blue 5K, believes the race will promote communal involvement to better strengthen the relationships among the locals and their law enforcement organizations.
“It’s just an event for the police officers and the community to come together," Loomis said. "For them to recognize 'Hey, this is somebody in my community, this is somebody that cares about my neighborhood, this is somebody that cares about my business, this is somebody that I should care about and look out for. It’s a mutual common ground.'”
The 5K run will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the one-mile fun run will follow at 9:45 a.m. There will be police demonstrations for the public, along with lunch that is included in the cost of the full race registration fee. The full registration is $45; it includes a race shirt, medal, lunch and a discount on select items.
Jenni King, event director for Back the Blue 5K, could not stress enough the importance of knowing one’s local law enforcement. She believes people will benefit in the long run.
“They are the people that protect us every single day,” King said. “When you’re in trouble they are the people you are going to call. It’s nice to see a friendly face, if you’re in trouble. I mean, this is what these people do every single day, they’re there to protect you. They’re your friend, not your enemy; they’re there for you.”