15th Annual University Park Azalea Classic 5k

Event Raises Funds for Public Schools, Promotes Healthy Living, Boosts Community Ties

By Sara Nelkin

March 16, 2016, University Park, MDThe 15th Annual University Park Azalea Classic 5K/1 Mile/1K run/walk, a popular community event supporting the kids at University Park Elementary School, will be held April 16th this year.

"The University Park Azalea Classic is a lot of fun. Smaller kids love to be outside with their families and classmates just running around. Older kids and adults enjoy the friendly competition of a local race and having a great time with their neighbors while getting some exercise in the fresh air," says Race Director Sara Nelkin. "It's a fantastic event which sends so many positive messages: have fun, get to know your neighbors, support your community, get moving, and enjoy the outdoors."

Making the day even more exciting, the Northwestern High School Marching Band will play at the start of the race.

Proceeds from the race benefit the kids at UPES, the local public elementary school that anchors the neighborhood of University Park. Funds will help them gain opportunities they would not otherwise have, through much needed support for classrooms supplies, teachers, and the school library.

The Azalea Classic also provides kids with an example of a fun, healthy activity, profiling a constructive hobby that kids, teens and others can continue in other places and throughout their lifetimes. The event promotes ties in and around the University Park neighborhood, drawing in people from the immediate area as well as the DC metro region, including Virginia. The Town of University Park and many local businesses sponsor the event.

The Azalea Classic includes 3 races: the 1 Mile Challenge Run (8:30am); the 1K "Val Creighton Memorial" Family Fun Run (8:45am); and the 5K Run/Walk (9:05am). The 5K is a USATF certified course. The race finishes with a DJ, raffle and prizes at the post-race party. The entrance fee is $30 for the 5K and $15 for the 1M and 1K. Find out more, including about sponsors and registration at www.azaleaclassic.com.