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Off To The Races With The Inaugural Run Celina 5K

Article by Niki Carbajal

Photography by Melissa Hatcher

Originally published in Celina Lifestyle

Run [ruhn] go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground. 2. to move with haste; act run, runner. similar: sprint, race, dart

Patriot [ pey-tree-uht]1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.

Melissa Gresham [ muh-lis-uh ] [ gresh-uhm ] 1.wife. mother. Chief Warrant Officer. Ph.D. See also: Run, patriot

Melissa Gresham is a busy lady, a wife, mom, full-time employee, consultant, and a runner. She is mom to two daughters, Ashley (senior) and Carlee (4th grade). A 10-year resident of Celina, Melissa is a safety and security consultant for cities in several states including, Kentucky and California. Prior to consulting, Melissa served in The United States Army for 9 years as a Chief Warrant Officer. After wrapping up her official military service, she wanted to continue the mission of protecting the U.S.A. and decided to pursue a Ph.D. in terrorism studies. She enrolled in Walden University in Minnesota and completed the program in 7 long years with the goal of focusing on the community policing philosophy as a deterrent to domestic terrorism.

So, it’s natural that a relationship began between Melissa and her company, Run Celina, and the Celina Community Police Foundation. Melissa chose the foundation as the recipient of the inaugural Run Celina 5K, a dash starting and ending at Old Celina Park in the heart of Celina on January 14, 2023. Participants can choose between a 5K option or a 1K Fun Run for kids. 300 participants will race the 5K while up to 100 children get to experience a nice introduction to running as they travel through the park, into the Parkside neighborhood, and back into the park near the new ball fields and onto the west side of Old Celina Park.

As a competitive runner, Melissa desired to bring that race experience north to Celina. And the response is encouraging. Runners love the opportunity to train on new courses, in new towns. Sponsors, too, are excited to join in the fun. More than 20 businesses have joined in to sponsor the Run Celina 5K/Fun Run 1K. Melissa’s goal is to create not just one-event runners and one-time sponsors, but to have partners for life in each. Local business, Swirls Bakery, will add special touches to race day with Swirls Cinnamon rolls and a Swirls Blend Coffee by Celina Coffee Roasters once runners cross the finish line. To top off the race and the yummy treats, runners receive a custom medal that Melissa hopes will capture the spirit and beauty of Celina. The medal reveal of races is an exciting day and Run Celina will release the design in November featuring the Celina countryside and iconic water tower.

Runners and non-runners alike can join the Celina 5K by supporting a new initiative with the Celina Police Department. Partnering with Chief Cullison to promote a “sponsor an officer” program, Run Celina will highlight law enforcement officers along the racecourse. Community members can purchase a sign featuring one of the 43 Celina Police department officers with sponsor tiers ranging from $50-$500. The idea is to familiarize the community with those men and women who work hard to partner with the community to reduce crime, promote traffic safety, and strive to protect and serve Celina. The race, after all, is all about supporting the officers through the Celina Community Police Foundation.

For More Information and Registration:

Facebook@Run Celina

  • Melissa Gresham, Founder of Run Celina, and Police Chief John Cullison

Businesses featured in this article