September 14, 2011

SVSU's Cross Country and Track and Field Teams Volunteered at the 4th Annual Michigan CardioVascular Institute Foundation and YMCA of Saginaw "Run for Your Heart" Community Races

Release courtesy of the SVSU Sports Information Department

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University men's and women's cross country and track and field teams volunteered at the 4th Annual Michigan CardioVascular Institute Foundation and YMCA of Saginaw "Run for Your Heart" Community Races on Saturday, September 10.

"The SVSU student-athletes did a phenomenal job and went over and above what we asked of them," said MCVI race coordinator Jeff Schlenker. "They were very loud and brought much excitement to the race."

The "Run for Your Heart" Community Races benefit the Michigan CardioVascular Institute Foundation. The MCVI Foundation strives to create a community that is heart-healthy and vibrant by championing causes related to the education, prevention and treatment of cardiac-related diseases.

"It was cool to be on the opposite side of things instead of competing in the race," said senior cross country athlete Greg Baade. "It was really fun!"

Approximately 50 SVSU Cross Country and Track and Field student-athletes spent a portion of their Saturday helping the 600 race participants around Saginaw's Ojibway Island. The event consisted of a 10k run, 5k run and walk, a one-mile fun run, tot trot and a USAT&F half marathon.

"There is no better way to connect to our community than by giving back," said assistant coach Makiba Batten. "The MCVI Run for your Heart and USAT&F half marathon was a great event and the SVSU Track & Cross Country team loved helping out." 

The student-athletes passed out water, directed runners and cheered with cowbells, receiving many smiles and "thank-you's" from the MCVI race participants.

"We truly felt part of the Saginaw community. We can't wait to do it again next year!" added coach Batten.

Through the Michigan CardioVascular Institute Foundation, patient care is taken one step further and the staff is dedicated to developing, promoting and supporting educational and community initiatives that empower people of all ages to live and lead healthier lives.

"The Cardinal athletes brought the day to life – it was truly a special day," acknowledged Schlenker.

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