City of Kentwood's Valentine's Dash 5K set for Feb. 13

City of Kentwood’s Valentine’s Dash 5K set for Feb. 13 
Annual Event to Benefit Kentwood’s Little Free Pantry

The City of Kentwood will host its fourth annual Valentine’s Dash 5K on Saturday, Feb. 13 to benefit Kentwood’s Little Free Pantry, which provides food and personal care items to community members in need.

The 5K route will include a combination of trails and paved pathways starting and ending at East Paris Nature Park, 5995 East Paris Ave. SE. The course will take participants from East Paris Nature Park to Paris Park via the Paul Henry-Thornapple Trail and back to the finish line. COVID-19 precautionary measures will be in place, including staggered start times beginning at 11 a.m., required face coverings at packet pickup and physical distancing.

Valentine’s-themed costumes are encouraged. While intended to be a fun run, the race will be chip timed. Awards for the fastest men and women in six age categories and overall will be available for pickup at the Kentwood Activities Center, 355 48th St. SE, the week after the event or can be mailed upon request.

“We’re excited to roll out a new route for this year’s Valentine’s Dash 5K that features a great combination of trails and paved pathways in two Kentwood parks,” said Spencer McKellar, race organizer. “Whether you plan to run with your sweetheart or run solo, this 5K is a great way to kick off the holiday weekend and foster a love for running.” 

Online registration is $25 until Feb. 12 and includes a long-sleeve shirt while supplies last. Day-of registration is $35. Runners who sign up as a couple save $5 each. If participants bring a non-perishable item or monetary donation for Kentwood’s Little Free Pantry, they will be entered to win a special door prize.

The Kentwood Parks and Recreation Department is seeking volunteers to assist with the event. Those interested can sign up online.

Kentwood’s first Little Free Pantry opened to the community in 2017 at the Kentwood Activities Center, where it remains available year-round during business hours. The City recently launched a second pantry at the Kent District Library – Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch. More information, including a list of suggested donations, is available at

For more event information, visit