Cheryl Potter is credited with being the visionary for Women Run Arkansas. She founded the first Women Can Run/Walk Clinic in 1997 in Conway, AR with 75 ladies enrolled. This clinic start-up stemmed from a desire Cheryl had to encourage women in their quest for a healthier lifestyle, to promote confidence, and increase self esteem.
Having AVON as an initial sponsor for the 1997 clinic and subsequent 5K led to the growth of the clinic outside of Conway. Greenbrier, Russellville, and North Little Rock, AR soon came on board to advance the Women Run Arkansas mission.
From here, Cheryl decided that all these new women athletes needed a “home”- a place that could meet their needs, increase their skills, and continue to benefit their walking/running goals. This led to the formation in 2000 of the Women Run Arkansas Run/Walk Club (WRA).
WRA became the host of the annual 5K as well as the statewide free run/walk clinics. The club was open to women of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities. Regardless of their speed, there was now a place for any woman wanting to improve on her fitness.
Since that 1997 clinic of 75 participants, WRA has grown to 40 clinics with greater than 3000 ladies taking part. The 2011 5K reached a record number of athletes with over 1800 registered and 1500 crossing the finish line!
None of this would be possible without the passion and commitment of an incredible woman: Cheryl Potter. WRA honors Cheryl each year by dedicating the 5K in her memory along with the presentation of an award that also bears her name.
The Cheryl Potter Award is given to an athlete that reflects the strength, vision, passion, and commitment to women through exercise. Participants in WRA may be nominated based on:
- inspiration to others in their clinic
- achievement of a personal athletic goal
- work to promote the advancement of women in walking or running
- overcoming an obstacle through fitness
Please submit your nominations to Nicole Bates firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15th 2014.