The women-only Gazelle Girl Half Marathon was developed to honor women. Photo via fb.com
With the success of its first half marathon and 5K run this past spring, Gazelle Girl is returning next year — and the women-only race expects to be even bigger.
By the numbers
In its inaugural year, the Gazelle Girl run drew more than 3,000 racegoers, hundreds of volunteers and had an economic impact of $412,000 on the Grand Rapids economy, according to the West Michigan Sports Commission.
The run also raised nearly $50,000 for its charity partners: Kent County Girls on the Run, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women and the YWCA.
Gazelle Girl attributes some of its success to its charity partners.
“One of the things that makes this race special is its connection between runners and the charities involved,” said Tiler Webster, race co-director. “The idea was born in the spirit of women doing good for others, while doing something good for themselves — through running. And because of that, women and girls will benefit year-long from our runners' actions.”
Looking for charity
That’s why Gazelle Girl has decided to add a fourth charity partner for its event on April 13, 2014.
The Gazelle Girl committee members are looking for charity partner nominations, which the committee will narrow down to five finalists and then ask the community to vote for their favorite.
Nominations are due by next Tuesday, and the community vote will take place Oct. 20-31.
An organization must have a female focus, be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Kent County and commit to contribute “sweat equity” during the event in some capacity to be considered as the fourth charity.
Gazelle Girl will announce its fourth charity partner on Nov. 15.
Registration for the race next spring will open December 1.