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On November 11, the City of Bloomington will host a Veterans 5K and 1-mile walk



Bloomington, Indiana – The fifth annual Veterans Day race presented by the City of Bloomington will take place at Switchyard Park on November 11 at 9 a.m. The money raised will go toward supporting veterans’ and first responders’ health and wellness programs in Monroe County.

“We decided to host a 5K where we bring in vendors and sponsors that can promote mental health for those populations and also incorporate physical health and get people active in the community,” Shelby Drake, City of Bloomington health and wellness coordinator, said.

According to Drake, the city intends to raise awareness of suicide prevention in general and make sure people are aware of the 988 number, which is a suicide and crisis hotline, through a new relationship with Veterans Affairs of Indianapolis and Monroe County.

Additionally, according to Drake, Bloomington’s buddy benches are being considered by the city. These are designated benches positioned across a community where anyone can seek assistance by sitting.

“If someone is sitting at one that signifies to staff or other community members that they are in need of a conversation, whether that’s just to talk or it’s a more serious conversation around needing help through a mental health crisis,” Drake said.

In 2024, the city also plans to offer free classes in fly-fishing, pickup basketball, and boxing to the veteran population. These courses, according to Drake, will enhance the mental and physical well-being of veterans.

At the race, Jennifer Jenkins, a Wounded Warrior Project spokesperson, will give a speech. A group called Wounded Warrior Project provides assistance to injured veterans and their families. Jenkins will discuss her experiences caring for a family member who is a soldier and the Wounded Warrior Project.

On November 11, Jenkins will talk at 8:35 a.m. At 8:50 a.m., Boy Scout Troop 1148 will present the colors. 9 a.m. is when the 5K and 9:15 a.m. are scheduled to start. On November 10, online registration for the race will close at 5 p.m.; however, on race morning, in-person registration will open at 8 a.m.

Under-10 participants run free of charge, while veterans and first responders must pay $25 to enter the race. The other participants will pay $30 for registration.

Drake stated that she hopes to see between 100 and 150 people in total, of which there are presently about 50 enrolled.

In addition, there are volunteer opportunities during the race to assist with course directions, on-site registration, and setup and breakdown. More volunteers are needed for the 7–10 a.m. time slot, according to Emily Buuck, the Community Relations Coordinator for the City of Bloomington, who may be reached by registration online.

According to Buuck, there will be twelve sponsors present during the run who will offer educational materials and support the mental health of veterans. Indiana Fitness Clubs, First Command, and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 18 are a few of the sponsors this year.

“I think the big draw to this is it’s the Veteran’s Day 5K, it’s very much a way to recognize our veterans and first responders,” Buuck said.


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