Good Luck

September 22nd, 2020

liberal run walk repeat groupThese ladies and their canine friend get an early Saturday morning walk in recently as part of the Liberal Run. Walk Repeat group. The group got started in May and will soon be hosting an event with the United Way. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Many people have recently been making time for exercise and thanks to the new Liberal Run. Walk. Repeat group, people can do just that. 

According to group founder Sonya Holman, the group began while in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The group got started in May and started off with a group of just five of us or so running Saturday mornings – we'd all just meet up at Light Park and go running or walking, whatever the mood called for,” Holman said. “After one of our running sessions, we were lingering in the park and we were talking about how we should make a Facebook group page in order to get more of the community involved in what was going on. So we came up with the idea for the page and ultimately called it Liberal Run. Walk. Repeat and after we officially created the page, it was a huge hit and now we have nearly 150 members. And the week after we started the page, us original five or so were at the park to do our thing and there were basically 40 people there, so just that one week made a huge difference in our numbers. We encourage not only our Saturday morning people, we encourage anyone participating in any of the events here in town like the Splash N' Dash and the Leprechaun Challenge and the Pancake Chase and those sorts of things, we share those events on our page and let people know about them so they can stay active, so it's not just for our Saturday morning group, it's for everyone in the community, we do not restrict in that regard.”

Holman said the group got its start because she and the other founding members already knew each other from other events. 

“Liberal's a small community, so how it started was it was just a group of us who already knew each other from participating in other area running/walking events, the same bunch of us are always showing up to those events, so we all already know each other and we're all friends,” Holman said. “To be honest, I'm not 100 percent sure who came up with the Saturday morning run idea, but it came up and we started showing up at the park Saturday mornings to run and it just went from there, and then after a little while was when we got the idea for the page and now, here we are. We take different routes every Saturday and it's typically about a 3-mile or 4-mile run, and we have mothers pushing their babies in strollers and people who are walking or running with their dog(s), and we have all age groups out there from several SCCC students to senior citizens, and we encourage anyone and everyone to come, we do not want to intimidate anyone from participating. It's all about being out in the community and getting to know one another and staying connected through something positive.”

Holman said it has also been great seeing the amount of people in the group increase so much. 

“It makes us feel really good, us original five were thrilled the Saturday we showed up and there were 40 people there at the park ready to go, we were flabbergasted by that,” Holman said with a chuckle. “But it was so neat to see the type of impact our page was already having and knowing how the word was spreading so fast. We've discovered people want to stay active and start off their days positively with a run and then they go home with their exercise in for the day, and there are so many new people to meet – I know I've met quite a few new people in the community who I hadn't met before, and now I know them through our page and now they're regulars. We feel really good about seeing such a big boom in our numbers, it makes us feel like we're doing something really positive in the community and helping a lot of people. And I want to add we're nothing official, we're not a gym, we're not a business or anything like that, we're just a casual local walking/running group people can join. As time goes on, what I would like to see is more community members getting involved with our group.”

The group will also soon be pairing with the United Way for an upcoming event. The Liberal Run. Walk. Repeat race will be Saturday, Sept. 19 and will start at 9 a.m. from the new Izzy's Health Hub at 1115 N. Kansas Avenue. Coordinators are still taking registrations, and people can register online at or in person with either Holman at (620) 482-6818 or with Brittany Ricks at (620) 621-0016. Participants can also register the day of the event. The registration fee for the 5K is $20 and the fee for the 10K is $25. Registrations can also be sent by mail to the United Way office at P.O. Box 273 in Liberal. 

“I was really happy when they approached me and receiving donations is always great because that money goes to so many different entities throughout the community and I thought this would be a great way to help us with that,” United Way Director Clarissa Carrillo said. “And with the COVID-19 pandemic, it's been really tough for non-profits because we typically have a lot of fundraising events, but many of the events we had scheduled this year had to be either postponed or outright cancelled because of what was going on with the pandemic, which was a bit of a blow. So right now, we're wanting to do as many outdoor activities as we can so we can still help our agencies even though we can't have our usual events.”

“The inspiration for the event came during the summer, we'd all been participating in different run/walk events in the area that were going on and after one of our running sessions, we decided we should have our own 5K/10K event and decided all the proceeds would go to a local organization,” Holman added. “We teamed up with United Way and decided the proceeds would go to the United Way since so many agencies are helped through our local chapter, all the proceeds are going to go right back into the community. We're pretty proud of our group, so we thought ‘Let's go for it!’”

With this being the first event between the two, both Holman and Carrillo said they are excited to see how it ends up.

“I'm really excited about the opportunity to have another event because everything is so limited right now on that front, so it's great we were able to team up with Sonya and her group and put this together,” Carrillo said. “I'm also just really excited about how many people will be there and seeing what the outcome will be. You help yourself out by getting outside and getting exercise and having a good time, and you also help the community by supporting the United Way through this event. This pandemic has made it difficult to have our usual events, so something like this is so great to have and we're really grateful.”

“I've already done some calculations as far as how much money we've already raised thanks to the sponsors we were able to get, and we already have a decent amount of people signed up, so the registration fees should also be a good amount, which is great, so I'm excited to see how big the outcome will be,” Holman added. “With this being our first event, I'm excited to see what the outcome will be and how many people will show up to participate. Just come out and have a great time. We have so many sponsors already and we're going to be giving prizes to the top finishers and swag bags to the participants, so it's really great, and one of the biggest prizes is for the 10K, the top male finisher and the top female finisher will receive a free pair of running shoes from Brown's Shoe Fit. We also have different age divisions set up and we'll also have t-shirts for people.”

Holman added her group is always taking new members.

“As far as the group goes, we encourage anyone and everyone to come out and participate. We meet up every Saturday morning at 7:30 at Light Park, and you don't have to be a jogger or runner, you can be a walker,” Holman said. “There are no restrictions, you just show up to have some fun while exercising and then you get on with the rest of your day. Don't be discouraged, we will accept anyone into the group, we have a mix of everyone on Saturday mornings, and people can also follow our page, Liberal Run. Walk. Repeat.”

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