What began as a small race with just over 40 participants has evolved into one of the most popular, all-female 5k events in the area. Over 2,000 participants are expected to run, walk and stroll through Downtown Arlington in the 12th annual Jiggle Butt Run on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
For the last twelve years, JBR has remained true to its founding vision: promote women’s fitness, well-being, and healthy and positive attitudes. The 5k flat course, which begins and ends at the College Park Center at UT Arlington, is designed exclusively for girls and women of all ages and abilities. Individual participants and teams, walkers, strollers and friendly paws are welcome. Awards are given for the top three finishers in each age level plus Best Costume, Most Spirited, Largest Team and more.
Proceeds from the Jiggle Butt Run benefit SafeHaven of Tarrant County, and on race day, collection stations will be set up to accept much needed supplies. To date, the Jiggle Butt Run has raised over $170,000 for SafeHaven, which serves victims of domestic violence by providing immediate shelter, housing, support, counseling, and prevention and reformative services.
Founders Mary Hibbs, Shelley Tardy and Karen Bondurant credit the commitment of the race’s participants and SafeHaven for the event’s steady growth and cumulative success. Downtown Arlington recently chatted with Mary about JBR and its special place in the community:
DA: This year the Jiggle Butt Run is celebrating its 12th year. Wow! How has the event changed over the years?
MH: We began working out of the back of my car with a IPOD shuffle and Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate packets and 46 girlfriends. By Year Three, we’d outgrown the park and moved to UTA's Maverick Activity Center. We then ran out of space and bathroom stalls and moved to our current home, UTA's EH Hereford University Center. We have a following of over 2000 women, many who have 4-7 JBR annual t-shirts in their closet!
Over the years, it’s become apparent that an all-women’s race is unique and important: women celebrating their strength in numbers and in the JOY that comes with surrounding yourself with healthy and FUN women friends and family. We are about the collection of women friends who are determined to start the year out STRONG and not necessarily about the medal that we may or may not walk away with that morning.
We call JBR a Boutique Run, nestling around 2000 runner/walkers and happy to stay that size. We love that this run has become a tradition for many of our participants and they continue to bring in more friends and family, despite the cold weather.
DA: Are there any new activities to the run?
MH: Our favorite addition this year is our NEW SNOWGIRL (logo)! We call her JOY. Simply stated, she exemplifies our mission statement, our enthusiasm, and our JOYful approach to bringing awareness, change and FUN to our community.
Also new this year, we offered a 6-week training to prepare our ladies for the 5k walk/run. "Get Your Butt Out of Bed" was our first attempt to build a running/walking club for women. Pets and strollers were welcome. We met at River Legacy and Veterans Parks for six Saturdays in November and December, and it was so successful that we plan to expand "Get Your Butt Out of Bed" to a 10-week program beginning in October 2018 prior to the 2019 run.
A new, Pre-Event Party is scheduled from 7pm-9pm on Thursday, Jan. 25 at The Runner. Party-goers can enjoy vendors including Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar, Sugar Bee Sweets, Massage Chairs from Mansfield Chiropractic, and Brooks Shoe. Women may register for the race, pick up their packets, and bring donations for SafeHaven.
DA: Tell us about your special partnership with SafeHaven of Tarrant County.
MH: Prior to JBR, I had many opportunities to work alongside SafeHaven (previously The Women's Shelter) through my involvement with Junior League of Arlington. Junior League believes that all women deserve to live life with confidence, so it was natural for us to join forces with SafeHaven to help provide much-needed service and education to a community of women in our own city who are victims of domestic violence. Similarly, our runners/walkers participate not only because of the fellowship that occurs during the event but because JBR is a purposeful morning of support for an organization that provides a literal safe haven to women.
DA: What do you enjoy most about hosting the event at UTA and in Downtown Arlington?
MH: It has been somewhat of a struggle to remain on the UTA campus and in Downtown. UTA fees for parking has been financially difficult. Additionally, with the surge in growth and revitalization on campus and road closures in Downtown, it is challenging! However, this is also why we want to remain in this area. Downtown Arlington is bursting with new businesses, living spaces, Library and activities. We are so proud of our city and of the expansion and improvements of our own University of Texas at Arlington! We are intentional in routing our participants through these areas to bring awareness and appreciation.
DA: Throughout the years of JBR, Downtown Arlington has/is experiencing a renaissance of new business and development. How do events like Jiggle Butt help inform people about the positive changes in Downtown?
MH: Our event attracts the women of thousands of households to the center of our growing University, and our course meanders them through the center of Downtown: past churches, restaurants, shops and businesses, the Library, etc. Our indoor Expo also highlights other Arlington non-profits, businesses, restaurants and services that benefit the health and well-being of women and their families. It’s a definite win-win for participants and our community.
Ready, set, jiggle!
Jiggle Butt Run
USATF Certified Women's 5k Run/Walk
Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
Check-in and pre-run Expo begins at 7:00 a.m.
Start/Finish at UT Arlington in Downtown Arlington
Register today and save $5 off the race day registration rate. VIP registrations and sponsorships are available. Team registration ends January 12. Pre-race day packet pick-up takes place January 25-26 from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. at The Runner. The Runner will also host a pre-event party from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. on Jan. 25.
The Jiggle Butt Run goes on whether rain, snow or shine. The pre-run Expo includes sponsor and vendor booths, an exclusive merchandise shop, VIP pamper area and massages. Valet parking is available.
For more information and to register, visit jigglebuttrun.com
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An official State of Texas Cultural District, Downtown Arlington, Texas blends a unique mix of activities, sights, tastes and sounds that attract visitors and locals alike. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public research university, prolific fine and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate.