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Generations of Jogging Joy

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jason & Lisa Smith Family PhotoDashing through the breeze, hearts pounding and adrenaline soaring – it’s a habit that runs happily in the Smith family. And when the race is Joggin’ for the Noggin, the group zooms into fun overload.

Jason and Lisa Smith embraced the excitement of running three years ago, and it’s an exhilarating ride they never want to stop.

“It makes us feel good to go out there and do running!” said Jason. “It’s so much fun, it’s a stress reliever and it’s healthy!”

Their amazing devotion to the sport propels them to try to do at least one 5k race a month together, and Polk State College Foundation’s annual fundraising Halloween-themed 5k, Joggin’ for the Noggin, fits them perfectly.

Besides their love for running, their loyal ties with Polk State make Joggin’ an extra-special – and meaningful — treat for the Smiths. Jason’s mom, Rosalie Smith, attended the college, Jason and his brother Johnathan Smith were both graduates, and Lisa completed the EMS program at Polk State.

For the Smith family, the jogging bug has been contagious from one generation to the next.

“Jason’s mom was into running before us, so she motivated us,” said Lisa.

But what really catapulted the clan onto the running trail was a rigorous test that Lisa had to pass to enter Polk State’s EMS program.

“I had a physical agility test to pass, so I started training really hard, doing the cardio, and Jason went along with me and motivated me, and he was my coach. So that’s how we started running together,” she explained.

Besides the dynamic running duo, their 6-year-old twin girls, Madison and Malayna, always get in on the act.

“Jason always had to push the double stroller for the girls, because they had to come with us. And so they were always involved, and it got to be a family thing,” she said.

With its colorful costumes and family-friendly atmosphere, the Joggin’ for the Noggin event was a natural fit for the Smiths.

jason smith and family revised“There are usually some fun activities to do, so we make it a whole family event,” said Lisa.

The twins adore the run, and for the first two years, participated in the kid’s run. This year, they are stepping up their game to join their parents in the main run for the first time.

“They love it! They giggle, they laugh – and one is really competitive – she takes after her grandma and mom,” Jason laughed.

And Jason’s mom Rosalie – the family’s original running inspiration — is an enthusiastic participant of Joggin’.

“She’s normally ahead of us,” said Jason. “She’s definitely one of the serious runners!”

And the Smith’s have found that it’s not just their family that keeps them running, but the extended family of community members who love dashing toward that finish line as much as they do.

“It’s fun to go to all the different runs all around, because you always see the same people and get to know them and run against them,” said Lisa.

Aside from the delight of fun costumes, community camaraderie and family unity, there’s another part that brings them true joy – helping student athletes at Polk State achieve their dreams of a higher education.

“We always look for a good cause. It makes us feel good that we’re doing something that we enjoy, and helps other people at the same time,” said Lisa.

With Joggin’ for the Noggin just around the corner on Friday, October 24, the family is raring to go!

“We’re really excited to participate this year!” said Lisa.

Please join the Smith family and many more of your community members on Friday, October 24, 2014 for this joyous occasion that you won’t want to miss!

To register, please click here for printable registration form, complete and bring it with you to the event!

– Race Starts – 6:30pm
– Monster Mash and Awards – immediately following race until 8:00pm.

Description: The 3rd Annual Joggin’ for the Noggin! 5k presented by Regal Automotive Group benefits Polk State College students and promises to be a fun and SCARY, Halloween themed race – because Polk County would be a SCARY place without Polk State. Run, jog, walk – this 3.1 mile race or 1 mile walk includes gravel road, grass and a trek on the Fort Fraser Trail. This race will be chip timed and awards will be presented to the top 3 in standard 5-year age groups, overall male and female, masters and grand masters. Runners are encouraged to wear costumes. Be prepared to be SCARED. The run will feature zombies on the trail to add pep to your steps. This is a family friendly race and will include spooky and fun activities for all ages.  Great food for race participants.  Adult and children’s costume contest will take place during the Monster Mash. Proceeds from Joggin’ for the Noggin! 5k will benefit student scholarships and programs on the Lakeland campus.