Nordonia Hills School District held its first Annual Nordonia kNight 5K and 1
Mile Kids Fun Run. The event benefited the Nordonia Schools Health and
Wellness Committee and Nordonia YMCA. The race went off without a hitch due
to it’s tremendous support from it’s many sponsors and vendors such as: Ohio
Outside’s Mark Gorman, Fleet Feet, Hammer Nutrition, Specialty Lubricants,
Aldi’s, Namaste Yoga, Kimpton Printing, Ohio Sports Chiropractic, Longwood
YMCA, Peterman, Orangetheory Fitness of Macedonia, North Coast Jiu Jitsu,
Summit County ADM, Achieve Nutrition, and Macedonia Recreation Center.
Runners of all ages gathered as a community to make a difference and support
their local school district. Participants paid $30 to register for the 5K race and $10
to register for the 1 Mile Kids Fun Run. With smiles stretching from ear to ear, all
kids under the age of 10 sped off during the fun run. Runners as young as 10 and as
old as 60+, prepared for the 5K race that started at Nordonia High School and
followed neighborhood roads before returning to the school and finishing at the 50
yard line of the football stadium. Jolynn McFerren, owner of Namaste Yoga,
provided pre-race stretching before runners set foot on the starting line. With very
little elevation change for 3.1 miles, hundreds of feet pounded the pavement,
racing towards the finish line in an attempt to win an award supplied by Fleet Feet.
While the runners were racing towards the finish line, others were actively
participating in fun events on the field such as: cornhole tournaments, frisbee
games, football, soccer, and kickball! After all runners successfully finished the
race, they took a lap for suicide prevention. Thanks to local establishments, the
famished runners could sit back and relax before the awards ceremony. Everyone
enjoyed the final stretch of the event with Macedonia Aldis’ fruits and snacks,
Achieve Nutrition’s flavored ice tea, and Longwood YMCA’s hotdogs.


After everyone finished the 5K, there was an awards presentation with 1st, 2nd,
and 3rd place male and female finishers in each age category winning a tumbler
and gift certificate to Fleet Feet and a raffle of some awesome prizes including: 4
tickets to the Akron Rubber Ducks, 2 tickets to Macedonia Cinemark, a 3 month
membership to any Akron area YMCA, a 3 one-month individual memberships for
the Macedonia Recreation Center, a free entry into the Ohio Outside fall series
event, a GNC gift basket, a one month membership to North Coast Jui Jitsu, and
three free classes to Orangetheory Fitness. Items in Swag Bag include a North
Coast Jui Jitsu 10 day pass, a Macedonia Rec Center 5 day pass, an Ohio Sports
Chiropractic info packet, Nordonia Health and Wellness water bottle, YMCA
items, Hammer Strength and Nutrition items, Info from the new Orangetheory

Fitness in Macedonia, and a Glow stick.

Unlike other races, Nordonia Schools Health and Wellness Committee added a
unique and important cause to their event. Haylee Holt, alumna of Nordonia Hills
High School and an advocate for mental health, contributed and helped plan the
event so it would incorporate mental wellness. “We wanted to promote the healing
process for people of all ages who struggle with mental health and work to get a
little bit stronger every day,” Holt continued. “It is essential that we raise
awareness of the coping strategies that are available within this community.” Many
coping strategies were advertised such as: joining the running group with Fleet
Feet, meditating and participating in yoga sessions with Namaste Yoga Studio, or
rescuing a dog from the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter to become an Emotional
Support Animal. Holt said, “I hope this platform motivates people not only to
cope, but to live their lives to the fullest as strong, empowered, and motivated
individuals.” Other activities that supported this cause included a “Jar of
Positivity” with motivational sayings passed out to participants, a social media
trending platform with #EndtheStigma and #MentalHealthMatters, a free raffle for
a mental wellness basket, and a poster to sign to show support. The basket
included a pair of 2 lb. walking weights, a jump rope, a pair of resistance tubes, a
scented candle, a bath fizz ball, a box of dark chocolate almonds, a micro-beads
travel pillow, a yoga mat, a back massager, a Fleet Feet water bottle, a pair of Fleet
Feet socks, and an official Hope mental health Awareness and Suicide Prevention
T-shirt. In addition, two alumni who spoke and sang about the importance of
mental wellness for people of all ages. Alum, Johannah Jones-Bey, and Alumna,
Whitney Lee, prepared to sing the National Anthem and the song, In My Blood by
Shawn Mendes. “This song represents the young adult perspective of dealing with
mental health issues. In a world with social media and cell phones, being a young
adult can be hard enough. We want to prevent social media dysmorphia, severe
depression, bullying, and repressed anxiety,” says Jones-Bey. “With this song, we
can inspire everyone to come together and support one another while ending the
stigma associated with mental health illnesses. We might battle through

depression, but giving up on the fight is not in our blood.”

Overall, the first Annual Nordonia kNight 5k Race and Kids Fun Run was a
complete success. With the support of the entire community, Nordonia hopes to
create an environment that is a healthy, happy, and well balanced place for people
of all ages. The Nordonia Wellness Committee looks forward to changing the
community for the better, one event at a time.