Ellie Tjelmeland was born deaf and later received the gift of hearing through cochlear implants. The Rochester native is also an avid runner and a scholarship athlete on the University of Southern Indiana cross country and distance track teams. Now Ellie is combining her two passions as the race director of the Watermelon 5K. All of the proceeds from the race will go to support the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation.
"I love to run and I'm passionate about helping people benefit from the gift of cochlear implants," Ellie said. "We believe that the Watermelon 5K will be a way for everyone to do something fun, while also doing good for others."
Billed as a "Morning of running, music and fun," the Watermelon 5K will be held on July 1, at Rochester Community Park. The chipped-time race will begin at 7.30am. Prizes will be awarded to the top three men and women in each age bracket.
"We want everyone to know that this isn't just for hardcore runners. We've designed this race so that non-runners can participate and have fun as well," said Ellie.
The cost to run is $30 for adults and $28 for high school students that register on or before June 15. The cost is $35 after June 15. All paid participants will receive a "world's softest race tee," along with a bag of goodies.
A healthy breakfast of bagels, fruits, granola bars, and hydration will be provided to all runners. Everyone is encouraged to bring a mat or towel and take part in the post-race yoga workout.
To register online or for more information vist www.watermelon5Krace.com
The Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation (CIAF), is a non-profit organization that provides the gift of hearing to those in need. Last year, CIAF donated $473,000 worth of cochlear equipment to hearing-impaired individuals who lacked the resources to pay for it themselves. For more information visit www.ciafonline.org