Johnston Health Foundation’s Champions 5K/10K benefits local patients, youngsters

Runners dash from the starting line at last year’s Champions 5K/10K, a fundraiser of the Johnston Health Foundation. Registration is now open for the race on April 13 and a second race, the Gobble Waddle, on Nov. 16.

If it’s your first time entering a race, then consider the Johnston Health Foundation’s Champions 5K/10K on Saturday, April 13th at Johnston Health in Smithfield. The event is family friendly (including dogs and strollers), and helps local people in need.

The USATF-certified course starts at the hospital entrance, winds through historic neighborhoods, and follows a section of the Neuse River greenway. Volunteers along the way cheer on the runners, man the water stations, and keep participants on track. Before and after the race, there’s music, snacks and vendor booths, too.

Proceeds will go toward two of the foundation’s programs. The Healthy Kids fund provides at-risk youngsters with scholarships to a 12-week nutrition and fitness education program at HealthQuest. The Heart Fund provides assistance to financially challenged patients in need of life-saving heart care.

If you’re ready to take on a second challenge, why not try the Gobble Waddle 5K/10K on Nov. 16? The course is in south Smithfield, and follows gentle hills past historic homes and manicured neighborhoods. The race is also timed, and the course is certified. Proceeds will also go to the Heart and Healthy Kids funds.

Participants can register for both events in one transaction by clicking the “bundle” option on the registration page. Also notable, those who complete both races will receive a special long-sleeved T-shirt at the Gobble Waddle.

Visit to register as a participant, or to make a donation.