The event celebrated physical fitness and drew attention to BPAC projects, which help supply funding for Mt. Juliet sidewalks, bike lanes and greenways.
This year’s event featured three courses that started and finished at the pavilion in Sgt. Jerry Mundy Park at 300 Mundy Memorial Drive in Mt. Juliet. The Sunday afternoon event was free to the public. There were two courses for walkers and runners. The short course covered 3.1 miles and travelled along Belinda Parkway, South Rutland Road, Stratford Drive and Legacy Park Road. The longer course was 4.5 miles. Cyclists followed the same roads on a 5.5-mile loop and were invited to do multiple laps. All turns were marked, and many had Mt. Juliet police officers and volunteers stationed at them.
The Walk, Run & Roll annually is a family friendly event with several water stops, including one at Mt. Juliet Fire Station No. 1 that was open for tours.
This year’s Walk, Run & Roll included a StoryWalk for families with small children. The StoryWalk featured the book, “Sally Jean the Bicycle Queen,” and was presented at 17 reading stations each separated by a short walk in Mundy Park. The StoryWalk was funded through a grant from the College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University in a partnership with BPAC and the Mt. Juliet Public Library.
“StoryWalks are designed to fight childhood obesity and promote literacy,” said BPAC member Sally Robertson.
Participants 12 and younger registered to win a child’s bike, courtesy of the Veloteers Bicycle Club, and Bodie Buckelew, 5, was the grand-prize winner. StoryWalk participants registered to win copies of the book, “Sally Jean the Bicycle Queen,” courtesy of BPAC. Participants also registered to win a free bike tune-up certificate, helmet and a floor pump from Biker’s Choice.
“Within the next year, residents will see the start of the Belinda City sidewalk project, Lebanon Road sidewalk project and a Safe Routes to School sidewalk to Elzie Patton Elementary School, all of which are made possible with grant money secured by BPAC and matching funds provided by the city,” said Art Giles, Mt. Juliet city commissioner and chairman of BPAC.
Mt. Juliet BPAC is made up of volunteers from the community with the goal to guide the city plans for safe walking, running and cycling infrastructure improvements. BPAC is an advisory committee to the Mt. Juliet City Commission with no decision or policymaking authority.