Rebecca Webster/Recorder staff Lisa and Rob Hosner, left, owners of Hosner Fitness in the town of Amsterdam, meet with a volunteer steering committee Thursday evening at their fitness facility for final detail preparation for their upcoming 5K.
By REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
TOWN OF AMSTERDAM -- In just a few weeks, more than 150 runners and walkers will cruise down Midline Road for the Run for Recreation.
The 5K run was the brainchild of local fitness couple, Lisa and Rob Hosner, who run Hosner Fitness on Midline Road in the town of Amsterdam.
Lisa Hosner, after meeting with her steering committee of volunteers Thursday, said that the run is their way of giving back to the community that helped them get their start.
"We want to give back to the parks because they basically started our business," she said. "They gave us the hype that we wanted."
People love being outside, but Hosner felt the parks were being underutilized.
She said the Recreation Department welcomed them into the parks last spring to do boot camps and fitness classes.
"We were looking for a place to do business because we didn't have a place to do business so that's how our relationship started," she said. "I said, well, if we're going to do a 5K, we're going to do it for the parks."
On April 14, they will show their gratitude by kicking off their 5K Run for Recreation, that will start at 9 a.m. at their studio on Midline Road and end at Shuttleworth Park, with walkers starting at 9:15 a.m.
Hosner said the average runner will complete the course in 25 to 30 minutes.
She thought it would just be 50 runners who would be running for fun, but they are now at 154 paid and registered participants -- 90 runners, the rest walking -- and that number is growing every day.
Amsterdam natives who now live in other states have even registered for the run, she said.
"People are excited about it," she said. "It's fun, and it's an easy route."
Jake Smith, a Gloversville resident who will be volunteering at the finish line at the run, said he heard about the 5K when the Hosners came to a meeting of the Fulmont Roadrunners.
Smith said the group often supports local races by setting up and taking care of the finish-line.
"They needed the help, it's a local running club, and it's a local event," he said.
Smith said many 5Ks happens throughout the region for a myriad of causes.
"Anything you can do to better yourself physically, it's a good thing and they're donating all the proceeds to a worthy cause. It's local and they've gotten a good turnout."
Smith said he thinks they will end up with about 200 people which is "great" for a first time race.
"You see everybody get so enthused and happy and having a good time and that's great," he said. "That's why you do it."
When runners get to the finish line at Shuttleworth Park, they will be greeted by community members there to support. The first 150 will get a Run for Recreation t-shirt and a ticket to the barbecue, and there will be t-shirts and barbecue tickets available to anyone else.
The park will also be filled with children's activities, a DJ, a bounce house, raffle baskets worth $200 each, and 50/50.
All of the proceeds will go to benefit the Recreation Department, likely for the Creative Connections Arts Center on Vrooman Avenue.
City recreation director Rob Spagnola said Thursday that word of the run came as a complete shock.
"It's real nice to have people like that, that are interested in helping out without even reaching out to them," Spagnola said.
He said they are hoping to make the arts center as more of a cultural center for the kids, and they are in need of things like arts and crafts materials, instruments, and computers.
"Anything that we need to supply those kids with those types of classes is what we will need to supply down there," he said.
Spagnola said the run will support the department in it's work to make that center another place -- along with the facility at the former Clara S. Bacon Elementary School -- for the children in the area to go for positive activities.
"We really, really appreciate how the community has come forward to help with these two recreation centers, especially the Hosners," Spagnola said. "They spent a lot of time doing this and their hard work is going to pay off exponentially for kids in the city."
Hosner simply called the community response "awesome."
"What was amazing to me was that the initial response, we thought it was just going to be, we call it, our people, our customers, our clients that come in and do our classes," she said.
But the first 50 to sign up were people who had just heard about the run throughout advertisements and word of mouth.
And they've not only gotten support from the runners, but from local businesses.
Hosner specifically raved about the support from Shorty's Southside, Bob's Paving, Fresh and Clean Cleaning, the PBA, Whispering Pines, Five Corners Mobile, Aloha Tan, Dan's Backyard BBQ, Amsterdam Mohawks, and Madej Home Improvement.
Many other organizations have supported them through donations, too, she said.
"It puts a smile on my face, I have to tell you, to know we're husband and wife, we're a small business and it's nice to see such a positive spin on an event that was supposed to be just this little fundraiser to give back, to say thank you for the parks."
For more information on registering, readers can contact Hosner Fitness at 391-0475 or firstname.lastname@example.org.