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A jiggling idea has grown into a solid race

By Fiona Green

jiggle butt organizers
Organizers of the Jiggle Butt Run 5K are Karen Bondurant, Marry Hibbs and Shelley Tardy. Photo by Fiona Green.

Four years ago, during a Sunday long run, friends Shelley Tardy, Mary Hibbs and Karen Bondurant were discussing how their bodies were changing as they aged. Noting that there was a little more jiggling than in years gone by, they thought it might be fun to organize a low-key race for friends to celebrate this fact.

During their conversation, one of them happened to find a $100 bill. Taking this as a positive sign, they decided to put the money toward the costs of organizing the inaugural Jiggle Butt Run. The event attracted about 40 women, raising enough money to pay for refreshments and T-shirts. The following year saw a huge increase in participation with over 225 registered runners.
The ladies chose to support the organization, Hope Run, with the race proceeds and sent shoes to children in an African orphanage.

In 2009, participation rose to 700. This time part of the proceeds was donated to a charity closer to home --  Safe Haven in Arlington, which helps victims of domestic violence.

On Saturday (Jan. 9), with sub-freezing temperatures, runners could have been forgiven for opting to stay in bed, yet more than 900 women walked, jogged and ran the 5K course that started at the UTA Maverick Athletic Center in Arlington. With no male runners to follow, some runners were nervous that they might get lost. The course, however, was well marked and I, for one, enjoyed the novelty of keeping the pace bike in sight for the whole race!

With no male competitors, the awards were distributed in half the time as at regular road races. Unlike most local races, no awards were distributed for Overall or Masters winners but judging by the numerous teams participating – many decked out in colorful outfits to beat the winter blues --  the event was more about camaraderie than competition.

With cool T-shirts, a good selection of post-race snacks and door prizes ranging from gift certificates to gym memberships, everyone left smiling -- once feeling had returned to their frozen faces, of course!

Jiggle Butt Run 5K, Jan. 9, 2010

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