Running with a purpose

Most races are all about who crosses the finish line first. But for Mansfield resident April Mathis, this year’s Jiggle Butt Run will take on a whole new meaning. The January event that benefits SafeHaven of Tarrant County will mark a year since her 19-year-old daughter was rescued from an abusive relationship.
“This will be my fourth year to do the Jiggle Butt,” Mathis says. She and her fellow “Butt Jigglers” (their team name), enjoy partaking in the annual event because it is such a worthy cause. It also helps them to start off the new year right and set fitness goals.
“This year is a game changer, however,” she says. “We are running and walking in honor of my daughter, Caitlin.” Mathis says Caitlin will participate in the race and hopes someday she can help another woman escape domestic violence.
The 12th annual women’s only, USATF-certified Jiggle Butt 5k Run/Walk will take place on the University of Texas at Arlington campus on Saturday, Jan. 27.
The race starts at 9 a.m., but the Hereford University Center doors open at 7 a.m. and will host exhibits, food, coffee, spirit wear and pre-race warm-ups.
Costumes are encouraged, and prizes will be awarded in many different categories.
“Last year, the Jiggle Butt Run’s generous $50,000 donation helped SafeHaven of Tarrant County continue to provide services to individuals currently experiencing domestic violence,” says SafeHaven’s Director of Donor Relations, Emily Hancock. “Annually, the run plays an important role in the ability to work toward our mission of ending domestic violence through safety, support, prevention and social change.”
In addition, collection bins will be available for runners and walkers to bring needed items for SafeHaven, which include blankets, clothing, women’s toiletries and baby care items. In Tarrant County alone, one in three women will be affected by domestic violence throughout her lifetime.
“What makes us unique is that you don’t have to be a serious runner to do the Jiggle Butt,” says one of the race’s co-founders, Mary Hibbs. “Regardless of your athletic ability, you will walk away with the satisfaction that you have helped other women in need.”
This year the Jiggle Butt Run committee started something new by offering six Saturday morning training sessions in various Arlington parks to help women get prepared for the race, whether walking or running. A 5k prep schedule is also available for download on the website.
Registration is still open and packet pick-up will take place on Jan. 25-26 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at The Runner, located at 3535 W. Pioneer Pkwy. The Runner will also host a pre-event party from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. on Jan. 25. You can register online at jigglebuttrun.com, during packet pick-up, or at the event, which will take place, rain, snow, or shine.