The Medical Center – Med Center 10K Classic: Dedication keeps it running

Excitement is building about the 38th Annual Med Center Health 10K Classic on October 21! With start and finish on the beautiful campus of Western Kentucky University, the Med Center Health 10K Classic is a major running event in southcentral Kentucky.

The best part about the event is that it’s truly a race for everyone, with a 1.5 mile fun walk, a 5K run/walk, 10K wheelchair race, the 10K itself and the Children’s Classic there is something for participants at just about any level of fitness. People from all around the country return every year to participate and enjoy the beauty of Bowling Green.

Three people in particular have returned year after year, a

nd it’s a safe bet that without them the 10K Classic would not be the event it is today. Joe Tinius, To

mmy Loving and Doris Thomas have been deeply involved behind the scenes almost since

the event’s inception in 1979 when it was known as the Wendy’s 10K Classic.

Joe Tinius was a spectator at that very first 10K Classic. A lifelong runner who started running competitively in high school, he started assisting with the Children’s Classic around 1990 – this includes not just a 1K race for kids the day of the 10K Classic, but an entire program to promote healthier lifestyles in children. Since 2007, Joe has served as co-chair of the race along with Tommy Loving.

“When the 10K started in 1980, there were very few road races in Bowling Green and the surrounding counties, unlike now when we seem to have one every weekend,” Joe said. “As a lifelong runner, this event means a great deal to me. I believe this is a unique event in that it promotes the importance of fitness and regular exercise, and provides everyone who participates the opportunity to leave as a big winner with the cash drawings. I hope the 10K remains a signature event in our community for years to come.”

Tommy Loving first participated as a runner in the 10K Classic in 1985. Tw

o years later, he was asked to join the committee organizing the event.

“I was at the Wellness Expo the night before the race,” Tommy said, “and, since I was still with the state police, a couple of committee members asked if I would assist with painting the stripes for the mile markers. Next thing I knew, I was on the committee.”

Tommy became the course marshal to coordinate between the event committee and law enforcement, which is still part of his duties today as co-chair.

“I’m a runner,” Tommy said, “and I appreciate the work that goes into the 10K. I think it’s one of the best community events because it emphasizes fitness.”

Doris Thomas started running in 1988. She became involved with the 10K Classic in the mid-1980s, representing Commonwealth Health Corporation on the 10K Committee. Doris co-chaired the first Children’s Classic and served as chair for many years afterward.

The 10K Classic was in danger of ending in 2007. When Commonwealth Health Corporation stepped in to keep the event going, Doris took on the role of race director.

“Med Center Health has invested a lot of time and money making this event probably the longest running community event in our area,” Doris said. “And, this event aligns so well with our mission of caring for people and improving the quality of life in the communities we serve. The goal of helping people to become involved with physical activity is one of the best ways to improve their quality of life.”

Many thanks to everyone who has dedicated their time and passion for running to keeping the Med Center Health 10K Classic a premiere event in south central Kentucky. For the latest information about the Med Center Health 10K Classic and a complete schedule of events, visit Online registration is available through midnight, October 18.

New this year:

The courses have changed! All events now start outside Houchens L.T. Smith Stadium. Please see the updated Course Map on the website for details.

 More chances to win! The $10,000 Cash Drawing now offers more ways to win when you complete your event on October 21. The $10,000 Cash Drawing will be awarded as follows: one $5,000 drawing, four $1,000 drawings and two $500 Early Bird drawings.