WHAT: Resolution Run 5K
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 1, at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Pack Square
WHY: The YMCA of Western North Carolina “sort of saved my life,” says Daphne Kirkwood, whose New Year’s Day Resolution Run 5K includes a partnership with the nonprofit community fitness center.
Kirkwood became a member 14 years ago. Then a new young mother, she began running, swimming, attending baby aerobics classes and building a network of friends. On a buddy’s advice, she signed up for her first 5K.
“I had never run outside before on pavement,” she says. “My goal was just not to walk.” Lo and behold, Kirkwood got lost during the West Asheville race and ended up walking (and shaking her head) as she completed the final stretch.
Her second attempt brought much different results: Kirkwood placed in her age group. “I was like ‘Whoa, I’m actually good at this?’ OK,” she says. “It changed my life. Being a member at the YMCA changed my life. It’s why I have my business today, if you want to give credit where credit’s due. Starting to run at the Y on the treadmill created what I do.”
iDaph Events is the race-planning company Kirkwood eventually founded in 2011 to pursue her newfound passion. A subsidiary of that business is the newly launched iDream Athletes Foundation, which helps youths and adults fund their own athletic pursuits, including paying for equipment, training and event participation.
While iDream will recieve 100 percent of proceeds from the Resolution Run, the YMCA will be paid for supplying volunteers, and the organization has been given about two dozen race passes to do its own fundraising. This model, Kirkwood explains, allows each runner to procure sponsorships, which are far more lucrative than the event itself. Charitable partners of her last marathon, for example, earned $75,000 total in this manner.
“It’s a great way to kick off the year — starting right off the bat with a goal like a 5K,” Kirkwood says. “Whether you run or walk it, it’s a way to build momentum. … If you’ve already done something on New Year’s, you’ve started out on the right foot.”
Runners, walkers and crawlers are welcome to register at the downtown YMCA, 30 Woodfin St., on New Year’s Eve, from 4-5:30 p.m., and on race day from 8-9:30 a.m. Participation is $35 per person. Visit idaph.net for details.