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Exercise isn’t an activity everyone considers “fun,” and the majority of the population wouldn’t consider running “a good time.”

Despite many people’s seemingly innate sense to avoid physical activity, Verde Valley residents showed up Saturday, Nov. 3, to participate in the Fit Kids 5K Fun Run & 10K Autumn Dash at Riverfront Park in Cottonwood.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieGranted, the people normally spotted actually paying to run multiple miles aren’t the same who hate to exercise.

We are, instead, the people who receive strange looks from our neighbors when we run through the streets with headlamps early in the morning or pedal bicycles away from our homes even though we’re “much to old to be riding a bike.”

Fit Kids, however, is different.

More kids than adults showed up, quite appropriately.

Moms and dads helped their little ones who can walk jog portions of the 3.1-mile course and cross the finish line, while others pushed their children in jogging strollers.

One brave and strong mother actually pulled her children and their friends in a wagon and even stopped to pick up a straggler who couldn’t make it to the finish line.

At least one baby participated in utero.

There were definitely hard-core runners in attendance, but the mix of people and the message were far more important than who won a medal.

Fit Kids of Arizona is a Northern Arizona Healthcare program aimed at reducing the incidence of childhood obesity in our communities through medical examination, physical activity and nutrition counseling, and behavior change.

Saturday’s race served not only as a fundraiser for Fit Kids, but also an opportunity for children enrolled in the program to be a part of the active community.

They joined every-day joggers and families who spend countless weekends on the move showing them exercise and activity is something fun to share and enjoy with our friends, families and neighbors.

Fit Kids coordinators ran to the finish line multiple times jogging to the end with their program participants.

Maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle isn’t easy for many of us, both young and old, but it is essential to the wellbeing of the community as a whole. It is the duty of those who do enjoy getting physical, or have already accepted we don’t have a choice in the matter, to support those who struggle and set a positive example.


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