Memorial Regional Health adds color to Saturday 5K fun run |

Memorial Regional Health adds color to Saturday 5K fun run

On Saturday, as the hot air balloons lift off from the summer morning mist to float above Loudy-Simpson Park, Moffat County residents will be taking off on another adventure from the ground. 

The first Memorial Regional Health’s Flying Colorado fun run will start at 7 a.m. on Saturday during the Moffat County Balloon Festival. The 5K course will take runners, joggers and walkers to circle the better part of Moffat County’s Loudy Simpson Park. 

After a brief jaunt through the marsh east of the boat launch, the trail straightens out on a westerly course along the south bank of the Yampa River. The remainder of the course includes a short climb into the hills above the soccer field and a final stretch back along the river heading east to the finish line. 

“The Moffat County Balloon Festival has long been one of my favorite summer events,” said MRH marketing and communications director Sheli Steele, who organized the race. “With an opportunity for something like this Flying Colors run opening up this year, we at the hospital were excited to jump at the chance to enhance this great weekend with our participation.”

In past years, another run has taken place at the Balloon Festival, organized by the Friends of Moffat County Education. That group is focusing on other events this year, so the chance to operate a fun run was open. The Flying Colors 5K route will be similar to the previous Elevate Education 5 course, thanks to the help of Jeremy Browning, who sketched the map for both events. 

As the name implies, the Flying Colors 5K will be a “color run,” which includes splashing participants with bright color throughout the course to enhance the experience. 

“I was able to walk the course early this summer,” Steele said. “It’s a beautiful trail. I really think our racers will have a great time marking their way around the park.” 

The race is also for a good cause, proceeds from race entries will benefit MRH’s Hospice program. 

The hospice program provides patients’ end of life needs, ensuring family and loved ones are included in the journey, and that a patient can be as comfortable as possible as the end of their life approaches. 

The hospice program is also the beneficiary of the MRH Foundation’s annual golf tournament earlier in the summer. It’s an invaluable community service that benefits from additional fundraising. 

“Hospice comes at no expense to the family, but there are sometimes, at the end of life, needs like hospital beds, sheets, sometimes certain equipment, and the family might not be able to afford it,” said Jennifer Businger, operations manager for MRH Home Health & Hospice. “We want to provide whatever additional things they need.”

Receiving the support of the community strengthens Businger’s resolve, along with her team of two registered nurses, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed practical nurse, contracted physical, occupational, and speech therapy providers and a chaplain. 

“It means everything,” Businger said of the support of the community. “To have that additional support to provide the services we do, it’s huge.”

Flying Colors 5K Fun Run/Walk

When: Saturday, Aug. 6; In-person registration opens at 6 a.m.; Race starts at 7 a.m.
Where: Loudy-Simpson Park; register and check in near the starting line by the road to the boat launch before the playground.
Why: Benefiting Memorial Regional Health Hospice
How: Register day-of (check or cash only) at the park, or pre-register online at:

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