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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Fitness first at Fitness Fest

Will Ferguson
The University of Arizona and Tucson Marathon teamed up to host the first ever Fitness Fest on the UA campus on Saturday, Dec. 10. The event featured four races for all ages as well as information on staying healthy.

The UA and Tucson Marathon joined forces to host the first Fitness Fest on the UA Mall to promote healthy living on Saturday.

Children, parents, UA community members, Tucson locals and a host of non-profit organizations both participated in and cheered on the event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Pam Reed, Tucson Marathon race director, said the event was designed to get kids in the habit of exercising regularly. Four events took place throughout the day – a mile run in the morning, followed by a 5K, a 10K and a 10K relay.

“We want people to do this for their lifestyle,” Reed said. “We want to show them that if they do one mile a day it’s a good thing.”

Before the first race, kids joined together to stretch and prepare for the run.

“I’m excited to see my kids beat me by a lot,” said John Temple, a parent and event attendee. His wife signed him up for the race, he said, along with their three kids.

Other participants said that the race was unique because it incorporated child participation.

“I think the event is great,” said Jessica Schultz, events director for Grow 2B Fit, a non-profit organization that teaches families how to be healthy. “There aren’t too many events where kids can participate.”

Kent Maas, a parent who attended Fitness Fest, said events like this one get the kids off the couch and outdoors. “We don’t watch a lot of TV around our house,” he said. “We’d rather have them involved with activities.”

Parents and event organizers directed throngs of children to the starting line on the UA Mall for the 1-mile race to start off the day.

“My goal is to win. That’s everyone’s goal in the race – to win,” said 9-year-old Jack Putnam.

About 183 participants from all age groups ran the mile lap around campus.

Boaz Maiyo, a fifth grade student, won first place, followed closely by his brother, Joseph Maiyo, who finished in second. Joseph Maiyo said his brother’s physical education teacher told him about the race, so they decided to participate.

Families relaxed after the race for Eegee’s frozen lemonade, oranges and water. Organizers from local non-profits provided information on health and wellness as well.

Tucson Marathon spread the word about the Fitness Fest over the radio and sent flyers to schools across the state. The UA provided $15,000 to allow 500 students to run for free.

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