Why run Gazelle Girl?

By Dren Asselmeier

Gazelle Girl Half Marathon Facebook Cover Photo

You may have noticed more runners and walkers than usual on the streets and paths of West Michigan. More and more people are getting out there for races and training, runs and walks, all in an effort to keep moving and support our favorite local organizations. With so many events on the calendar, people ask us why run this event? Why Gazelle Girl?

Here are the top reasons you should choose Gazelle Girl this April:

It’s all women. Gazelle Girl is the perfect event for women who are new to participating in community run/walk events. The all-women’s event is absolutely an uplifting and inspiring environment to welcome all paces. Experienced runners love taking part in our events as well because it’s a chance to cheer for fellow women and run with a few thousand of your girlfriends! You’ll see everyone from brand new beginners running their first half to elite athletes running their fiftieth with smiles on their faces (or snarling to just get through the next mile – we’ve all been there). Plus, there are always women running in honor or support of a loved one or charity. It’s really amazing to see the streets of Grand Rapids full of fierce, fab female runners!

Gazelle Girl supports local women’s charities. Every year, Gazelle Girl raises thousands of dollars for our affiliated charities. This year, registration dollars and additional donations will go to these four deserving charities: GROW – Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, Kent County Girls on the Run, YWCA of West Central Michigan and the Gazelle Sports Foundation. All four  charities are committed to making a difference in West Michigan!

The community support is awesome. Crowd support can be the difference between a fun race and a lame run. If you’ve never been to a Gazelle Girl run, then just wait! People come out in droves to cheer for their moms and sisters, wives and friends. The signs are great, and it’s really touching to see so many people celebrating active women in their lives. Spirit stations are always staffed with happy faces and stellar volunteers who show up just for you!

It’s a killer kickoff to your healthy spring and summer. Many people use the 5k or half marathon as a training run for the Fifth Third River Bank Run. Whether you’re training for something following Gazelle Girl or just want an awesome event under your belt as you get ready for beach season 2016, our April 17th events are a perfect way to start!

If you run the half, you get sweet bling from Terryberry. Yeah, medals are cool, but do you wear them every day? Of course not (though we fully support wearing your medals when you just plain need to feel like a winner!) Terryberry is a fourth generation, family-owned  local company that makes the handcrafted sterling silver charms for the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon.

It’s something to motivate you through the winter. It’s party season! Which also means we often end up stuffing our faces with wonderful things. And what goes better with a good food coma than a long nap on the couch? Well, we think that you’ll feel better and be happier if you get up and get moving this winter. With long nights and often boring days, things can get a little dreary. Nothing beats the winter blahs like meeting up with your girlfriends for an invigorating run or a brisk walk all bundled up. It’s fun—we promise!

So, if you’re looking ahead on your calendar and want to sign up for an event that gives you tons of reasons to get moving, check out Gazelle Girl! We’ve got something for everyone, whether it’s running or walking on race day, volunteering to show your support, donating to our charities or just cheering for a cool community event that makes a difference in West Michigan!


Dren Asselmeier is a runner, toddler mom and writer who has been involved with the Gazelle Girl events since they began in 2012. She loves supporting women with their fitness goals and hanging out with her stroller gang. When weather permits, she runs with her tiny ginger running buddy, Walter.