Westminster wants your creativity while you sweat

Kathleen Dunlap
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 8/21/19

Advocates of running will tell you that the sport inspires creativity and that once your feet have pounded out two or three miles, you achieve a `flow state’ — where thoughts are clear and ideas …

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Westminster wants your creativity while you sweat

Posted

Advocates of running will tell you that the sport inspires creativity and that once your feet have pounded out two or three miles, you achieve a `flow state’ — where thoughts are clear and ideas abound.

Westminster’s Parks, Recreation and Libraries Department hopes to tap into that flow state with their upcoming race, “Running Thoughts,” from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 14, along the Big Dry Creek Trail behind the College Hill Library.

“It is designed to help participants experience first-hand the relationship between running/walking and creative thinking,” said Rich Neuman, Westminster’s outreach coordinator.

The mission of the department, Neuman said, is to connect people with nature, wellness, and literacy. With this inaugural race, the city has incorporated all three branches of their mission into one event, he said.

Residents are in nature, walking or running and creating an original story.

Mission accomplished.

Thoughtful running

At the start of the race, teams of two to four runners will be given a random photograph. Using this unique image as their inspiration, their team will compose a short story along the racecourse.

The first relay runner will dream up part one of a story about the image while running the first quarter mile. When they reach the first “Writing Station”, they will write the story’s beginnings on a scroll available at the station and then slide the scroll back into a baton and complete the remainder of their leg.

At the pass-off, the next runner will open the scroll, read the story piece and then run the next quarter-mile. While running, they will compose a subsequent section of the story. At the next Writing Station, they will stop, write down their addition to the story, run to the pass-off point and hand over the baton to the next relay runner.

The relay teams will continue to pass the scroll while adding onto the story until they reach the finish line. The course is approximately four miles long. Each runner will complete a one-mile run with breaks at both a Writing Station and a Pass Point. If the team only has two participants, each runner will run two miles.

Creativity, originality and speed

At the end of the race, a panel of judges will read all the story submissions. Stories will be judged on creativity and originality and teams will be judged on fastest finish time and best stories. The winning stories will be printed and mounted on the Story Board Trail behind the College Hill Library, along with a copy of the photograph that inspired the tale.

All ages and athletic abilities are welcome, he said. Westminster wants to see its residents outside, moving their bodies and working their brains.

Neuman said the city is prepared to set up single runner registrants inside a team if individuals wish to sign up. Not having a pre-built team should not deter runners from joining in the creative fun, he said.

If creating a story from scratch while sweating out miles sounds too daunting, the City also needs volunteers. Event organizers are currently rounding up a list of duties for volunteers.

It’s one of the numerous unusually events sponsored by the City of Westminster, which includes a zombie golf tournament, a ballerina dodgeball and an adult Easter Egg hunt.

Neuman said the event’s oddball nature keeps attracting Westminster residents.

“We’ve had great success,” he said.

To register for the race or to sign up as a volunteer, visit cityofwestminster.us/specialevents.

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