On June 25th HART held its signature Barefoot Run for Africa 5K race. This year the race course was held on the old Cascade Golf Course property on 800 North in Orem, Utah. Todd Petersen, CEO of Vivant graciously allowed HART to use the property so a complete 5K course could be set up. This would allow any participant to be able to do as the Ghanaians do…run barefoot!

It was a beautiful sunny day for the race. Almost 100 runners showed up to run, jog, trot, and even walk the grassy course with shoes on or off. The figure eight shape course circled Foothill Elementary School play grounds then climbed uphill following the course holes that are on the north end of the old golf course. Once on top of the north end fairways, it was a nice downhill run out and around Palisade Park perimeter finishing where it all began at the Foothill Pak picnic pavilion.

HART Board Chairman, Kimball Crofts, MD, brought a nice display of Ghanaian and African art to display. Men from the Salt Lake Ghanaian community showed up with large drums and women from the same group demonstrated and taught traditional Ghanaian dances to any and all interested participants.

Perhaps the highlight of the event was when The Ghanaian community presented HART with a $1,000.00 check to help with the cost of surgical supplies for the upcoming September 2016 surgical mission trip.

Our many thanks and gratitude to Ayisha Mitchell, part of the Ghanaian community in Utah County, for helping organize and run this race. She tirelessly worked to find help from the running community for number bibs, a large blow up arch for designating the start and finish line, a timing system for the race, and fresh fruit and muffins for post-race refueling.  

Remember, there will be a sister city race run in the town of Kukuom, Ghana on Saturday, September 3rd. Each of the nearly 100 entries made here in Orem, Utah sponsors a runner in Kuokum This includes awarding the same t-shirt to each runner there as was given to our runners here.

We hope to have double or even triple the participants in 2017! Keep your eyes open for the date of the 2017 race on this website and running calendars around the state of Utah.