By TIM CLEVELAND
For the fourth consecutive year, Fitness Together has teamed up with Mill Creek MetroParks to host a 5K race to raise awareness of fitness as well as raise money for the children’s playground.
The race was May 10 at the Wick Recreation Area, right next to the playground.
“As a company we’re blessed with success, so it’s a no-brainer to give back to the community,” said Fitness Together owner Erin Mellinger. “We were kind of thinking of ways to give back to the community and a 5K is an obvious solution because we promote wellness in the community.
“We reached out to Mill Creek Park because I’ve always loved it and think it’s one of the best ways to get active. They said they do have a need that they were building this children’s area at the Wick Recreation Area. We just decided to host the 5K and we’ll give all the profits to them.”
Fitness Together has locations in Poland and Canfield, with a third coming this summer in Howland.
In prior years, the race has attracted 100-120 runners. Mellinger said she hoped for 150 this year.
“We usually raise $4,000 - $5,000 each year from it,” Mellinger said. “It’s a perfect fit. It’s a wellness company promoting wellness in the area.
“We’ve never had a warm and dry 5K, so as long as the rain holds off we think we’ll hit our goal.”
This year’s winner was Michael DiDomenico, a senior at Canfield High School. He ran a 24:29 over the 3.1-mile course to beat Jonathan Jenyk of Austintown by four seconds.
“I do a few running races a year,” DiDomenico said. “I’m more of a swimmer. I do aerobics, not necessarily running.
“I’m a member at FT so I thought it would be a fun thing to do. I like running races; I just like competition.”
“It’s a hilly course but it’s a fun challenge,” Mellinger said. “For a lot of our Fitness Together clients, it’s their first 5K.”