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Races for All Paces Kickstarts Health Journey for Charleston Resident

April 29, 2022 9:54 a.m.

  • races for all paces, 2022, family event

Once Janielle Davis started her health journey, nothing slowed her down. In her mid-20s, she had developed poor health habits like ordering take-out and smoking cigarettes. She moved sluggishly and inconsistently worked out. Eventually, her primary care provider suggested that she make a shift to a healthier lifestyle to help prevent chronic conditions that ran in her family.

“It’s easy to develop bad habits, but I knew my energy and mental and physical health were more important than my bad habits,” Davis remarked.

In 2018, she tested herself by quitting smoking. Thankfully, quitting wasn’t difficult, as she was ready to kick the “nasty habit.” Her next goal was signing up for the 2019 Race for All Paces 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk.

“I had heard about the event, but didn’t know what to expect. The race ended up being a revival and morale boost for me,” Davis stated.

Davis had lost 50 lbs by the time she ran in Races for All Paces. She felt a little intimidated about running with a group, so she went alone. Even though she ran by herself, the community members participating in the event energized and welcomed her. People lined the race route, cheering her on.

“The race was a test to prove I was confident enough in my body to run publicly. I felt unstoppable afterward, and it fueled my drive to further improve myself,” Davis said.

Since the 2019 event, Davis has lost an additional 55 lbs. Her body feels the incredible benefits of dropping more than 100 pounds in four years. She even cut caffeine and sugary drinks out of her diet, which alleviated her migraines. Making time to walk is now a daily priority for her. She thanks the Races for All Paces event for pushing her out of her comfort zone and into a healthier lifestyle. This year, Davis plans to volunteer to give back to the community that helped her.

Races for All Paces boasts fun race courses, including the Panther Trail, campus locations, local neighborhoods and the half-marathon that goes into the country with hills and other exciting challenges along the route. The 14th annual event will be held on Saturday, May 14 and starts and finishes on the track of Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.

The event includes a half marathon, as well as an individual 10K, 5K Run/Walk, 1-Mile Run/Walk, and even races for young children, including a “Toddler Trot” for kids ages 3 to 5 and a “Diaper Dash,” for kids under age 3 that takes place on the EIU football field. To register and view race course maps, go to

For more information, contact Laura Bollan, race director, at 217 345-6828.


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