Walking, running and dancing the zumba!
Community walk and fun run spreads message about healthy living
Winning was important to some, giving them a chance to test fitness levels before more serious runs.
For others just to complete the 6.6 kilometre course represented an achievement of sorts. It provided a feel good factor.
There were also one or two who remained blissfully unaware about what was happening, even as they covered the distance, pushed along in prams by hard-working parents.
Saturday’s Community Walk and Run 2012 was whatever people wanted to make of it, although everyone shared at least one thing in common – the intention to have a good time.
It was hard not to with glorious May sunshine bathing the Barrhead Agrena parking lot, giving a lift to the spirit.
Seventy-eight people showed up for the walk/run sponsored by Freson Brothers IGA, Communities Choosewell and Xpressions Dance & Fitness Centre. Summer students handed out free T-shirts to anyone who registered.
Coinciding with Saturday’s event was a walk for seniors at Cecile Martin Park. Fifty-one people took part, suggesting the keep fit message has been taken on board by the older generation.
Before setting off from the Agrena, walkers and runners in the “junior” event had the chance to do strenuous warm-up exercises.
Getting them in the groove the Zumba way was the Xpressions team of Melissa Preuss, Tara Elgersma, Stephanie Meunier and Melinda Crabbe, who performed a high-energy routine on a trailer.
The Latin-inspired, calorie burning dance had people shaking, shimmying and stretching, loosening the muscles for what lay ahead.
Seconds before 10 a.m. the Master of Ceremonies Fred Thistle called participants to the start line. And then they were off: people of all ages, all fitness levels, all shapes and sizes.
It took 26 minutes and 56 seconds for the first person to cross the line.
Winning has become something of a habit for Richard Ellens; this was his third victory out of four starts in the event.
“I was pushed really hard today,” the 20-year-old said after he had taken a well-earned breather. “It was very competitive.”
The heat made the going even tougher, he added.
The first of the girls to finish was 13-year-old McKenna Dievert, a Grade 5 Student, also a repeat winner with a time of 31:49.
“I also won last year,” she said. “I didn’t find the conditions too bad today.”
The winners received gift certificates.
After their exertions, walkers and runners enjoyed hot dogs courtesy of Freson Brothers IGA. Helping with the serving was Aaron Coutts, managing partner of IGA.
Participants could also cool off by enjoying a free swim.
Brandy Siegert, from the Town of Barrhead Recreation Department, which hosted the event, was pleased with the way things had gone.
She said this year the event offered the option of walking as well as running, allowing more of the community to participate.
“We had a great day,” she said. “I think everybody enjoyed themselves, and I think everybody enjoyed the dance at the start.”
Brandy added she was looking forward to next year and hoped the event would continue to grow, promoting the message of healthy living.
“It’s about exercise, it’s about eating, it’s about getting people out,” she said. “Our aim is to bring the community together.”
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