The Cereal City Stampede is a trio of fun runs in the area that appeal to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. The Battle Creek YMCA’s Cereal City Classic, the Binder Park Zoo Cheetah Chase and the Battle Creek National Guard Road Hawg Classic is a community collaboration that provides support for the missions of each organization while highlighting some of the most beautiful and exciting areas to run in the Battle Creek area. The Stampede is generously sponsored by Rice’s Shoes and Life Fitness.
Kicking off the Stampede is the Cereal City Classic on June 8 – an annual event proudly sponsored and hosted by the Battle Creek Family YMCA. Whether you have the skills of an avid runner or you’re a recreational walker, you’ll enjoy this morning run along Battle Creek’s Linear Path. The Cereal City Classic supports the organization’s mission of “Fighting obesity through programming and community activity.” This friendly non-profit organization is dedicated to strengthening the local community while building strong minds and strong bodies. Founded in 1889, they focus on three primary goals today: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
Then it’s time to head over to Binder Park Zoo for the second leg of the Stampede at the Cheetah Chase on June 22. Participants support cheetah conservation at one of the most unique 5K events in Michigan where runners complete a 5K covering two continents—sprinting all the way to “Africa” and back! Highlights of this course include panoramic views of the African savanna with herds of giraffe, zebra, and bontebok and the chance to do something that could never happen in the wild, cruise right past the world’s fastest mammal – the cheetahs! In its 13th year, the Cheetah Chase supports the zoo’s mission to “Connect. Inspire. Conserve. Connect people with nature. Inspire them to conserve”.
The Stampede concludes on July 20, with the Road Hawg Classic, a 5k or 10k race that takes place at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. Experience a view that not many people get to see. It’s a closed, mostly paved, challenging course with a bridge that adds a hill for the 10K runners that joins the east and west property. The course stretches down two taxi ways that military and civilian aircraft use every day. Manned by an all-volunteer committee of airmen and family members, this special event provides support for the 110th Wing Airman and Family Readiness Center by raising funds to provide financial assistance to military members and their families in times of need. “The military is a family that never forgets the concepts of service, teamwork, nor the common bonds that bind us all together. This group of Airmen is simply finding a way to take care of each other’s families because they take such good care of us during our military careers.”
To be eligible for the Cereal City Stampede, runners and walkers need to participate in all three events and should register using the same contact information for each race. Awards for both the overall male and female runners will be presented at the conclusion of the Road Hawg Classic and each participant who runs all three races will receive a coveted Stampede t-shirt. For links to each of the races, visit http://cerealcitystampede.com