Music's ability to bring people together, to promote trust and empathy and to provide stress release, proved to be a key finding by Alan R. Harvey in work published by the National Institutes of Health.
"An appreciation of the evolutionary significance of music, and the impact that the universal of music has had in promoting social harmony and an individual’s sense of well-being in our species, can only help when advocating for the importance of music in education and for therapeutic purposes in the clinic," Harvey wrote in 2012.
Running, too, has similar benefits.
"There’s a magic in running," ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes once told the New York Times. "It’s so simple, it’s a commonality we all share as a species. We’re divided by the color of our skin, divided by the God we believe in, socioeconomic level, whatever else, but running’s a great democratizer."
The twain shall meet. Music, meet running.
The North Carolina Folk Festival, scheduled for Sept. 8-10 in Greensboro, will host not only more than 300 artists in a celebration of roots and culture, but it will also welcome runners and walkers in the first Folk Fest 5K at 10 a.m. Sept. 10.
The run-walk, the brainchild of Greensboro's Hollis Oberlies with assistance from Jamestown's Brandon Hudgins and others, is an invitation for all of the Triad's runners and groups to participate in downtown Greensboro as a Sunday morning warmup before Folk Fest's final day of multicultural performances, crafts and food.
The run-walk is an untimed event, making it a day for conversation and camaraderie playing out on a unique stage.
The 3.1-mile course is being set up inside the perimeter designed for Folk Fest. The run will start at 10 a.m., and music on the final day of Folk Fest will follow beginning at noon. Admission for Folk Fest is free each of the three days.
Registration is open for the Folk Fest 5K. The entry fee is $30 through July 31, and T-shirts are guaranteed for entrants through Aug. 12. A custom bib and beverage are included in the entry fee.
“The N.C. Folk Fest is excited to partner with runners from across our region to combine the health and wellness benefits of the arts and exercise into a single event,” Amy Grossmann, president and CEO of the North Carolina Folk Festival, said in a news release. “We invite runners and walkers to join us for this community event to support the N.C. Folk Fest and kick off our Sunday performances."
Oberlies adds: "This is similar to a Running of the Balls event, in that we are untimed, running for fun to celebrate what we love to do, together, in a non-competitive venue, fundraising for N.C. Folk Festival, and having a big party that morning where everyone can mingle, listen to music and kick off Folk Festival that day.
"Come run, come all!"