January 22, 2019

500 Festival Employee Wellness Challenge offers mini-marathon, 5K registration discounts

As the University continues to offer health and wellness opportunities for the Purdue community, Human Resources has another event to add. Employees can join Purdue’s team in the One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and 500 Festival 5K’s Employee Wellness Challenge on May 4 in Indianapolis. Courtesy of Purdue HR, team members will receive a discounted mini-marathon entry for $32.50 or 5K entry for $15.

“Creating a Purdue team for the One America 500 Festival was an easy decision to make,” says Candace Shaffer, director of benefits in Human Resources. “The events strategically align with our focus on creating a healthy Boiler community campus-wide. We continually strive to find new ways to engage our employees in their health and wellness, and the mini-marathon and 5K opportunities -- along with the discounted registration fee -- are win-wins for our Boilermakers.”

Bill Bell, vice president for Human Resources, agrees.

“My favorite activity is running outdoors, when weather permits, and I’m looking forward to participating on the Purdue team alongside other healthy Boilers,” Bell says. “This event is a great addition to the other health and wellness programs and opportunities already present for our Purdue community. Representing Purdue in the 500 Festival events as a member of the team is going to be fun. I hope many members of our Boilermaker community decide to participate.”

The team is composed of both runners and walkers, both at the 13.1-mile and the 3.1-mile distances. Individuals from beginners to advanced runners are encouraged to join.


To register, visit the 2019 500 Festival Running Events webpage and select either the mini-marathon or the 5K. At the end of the registration process, use the code PurdueEWC19 to receive the discounted registration fee. Purdue team members will receive race T-shirts.


Whether an individual plans to walk, jog, run or use a combination of tactics to complete the distance, there are training resources in the area to help create unique plans of attack. According to Bell, it’s a great opportunity to be able to find others who will join you and support you along the way.

“For beginner runners, my advice is to start out slowly,” Bell says. “Many people tend to start out too fast, don’t see immediate results or get hurt and then quit. It’s much better to set realistic and attainable goals, and the training options available to our Purdue employees will help them do just that.”

The following are examples of training resources available:

Fleet Feet training programs

Fleet Feet Sports, 500 Sagamore Parkway West in West Lafayette, offers its Fleet Feet Running Club training programs, for both half-marathon and 5K distance races.

The half-marathon program is a 12-week structured program for runners looking to step up to the half-marathon distance or runners looking to improve their previous experience with group training. Experienced coaches, pace groups, camaraderie and lots of motivation are what participants will find along the training path. Additional training program features include twice-weekly coached group runs, educational clinics, post-run refreshments, technical shirt, special in-store discounts during the training program and more. The mini-marathon training program fee is $85. An informational meeting will be held at Fleet Feet at 7:15 p.m. Feb. 7. to share details about the program. To learn more, visit Fleet Feet’s Half-Marathon Training – Spring 2019 webpage.

Those more interested in achieving a 5K race completion have their own unique training program available via Fleet Feet. The 5K training program (beginner program) is a 10-week structured program for those who want to start running or run/walking or get back into running and build endurance. Experienced coaches and mentors provide motivation along the way. The program includes the same features as the mini-marathon program, including the special in-store discounts during the program. The 5K training program fee is $65. For more information, visit Fleet Feet’s 5K Finish Training – Spring 2019 webpage. Note: Fleet Feet’s 5K training program’s goal race is the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research’s The Challenge 5K Run / Walk on April 13.

Center for Healthy Living health coach

Through walking health coach appointments, beginner runners as well as walkers who are interested in participating in a 5K can get training assistance from the health coaches at the Center for Healthy Living on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Employees can schedule appointments with one of the health coaches at the center and rather than sitting in a room discussing their goals to complete a 5K, the appointment takes place during a walk around campus, which adds physical exercise at the same time.

Health coaching appointments -- walking as well as in-office -- are available during normal center hours (7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday). Contact the center to schedule an appointment with a health coach by calling 765-494-0111 or scheduling via the patient portal.

Mobile apps

Individuals who prefer to train on their own also have options via mobile apps, such as C25K -- also known as Couch to 5K. The eight-week program uses an audio coach and music to help turn coach potatoes into 5K runners. For more information on C25K and other apps (Zen Labs Fitness Apps), visit the C25K® official website.

More information – attend a campus launch event

On-campus launch events for the One America 500 Festival Employee Wellness Challenge Mini-Marathon and 5K will be held, respective to each distance race:

  • 5K launch event: 4:30-5:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at Kurz Purdue Technology Center, Railyard.
  • Mini-marathon event: 4:30-5:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Kurz Purdue Technology Center, Railyard.

Information will be provided by Purdue’s One America 500 Festival team captain, Jonathan Ying, continuing lecturer in the Department of Management, as well as Greg Lehman, Fleet Feet Sports West Lafayette owner, and others. Refreshments will be served.


Questions can be directed to Human Resources at 765-494-2222, toll-free at 877-725-0222 or via email at hr@purdue.edu.

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