By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
DANVILLE — Local community groups want to get kids out and moving this summer with 2013 Montour County Kids Marathon.
The marathon encourages kids to stay in shape by challenging them to run the distance of a quarter marathon, half marathon or full marathon over the course of the summer.
“We want to see kids being out and active. Childhood obesity is an incredible epidemic in the United States, especially in our area,” said Billie Ingraham, programs director for the Danville Area Community Center. The DACC, Montour Area Recreation Commission and Danville Area School District are all partners in the marathon program.
“Everybody agreed this….aligned with the mission of all three groups, to keep kids outside and active until school starts again,” said Bob Stoudt, director of MARC.
The marathon is open to all children age 5 through 17, with registration closing on June 21. Parents can register children by going to the website www.MontourRec.com/marc/?page_id=5555, downloading a copy of the marathon tracking sheet and sending a signed copy of the included registration form to MARC, P.O. Box 456, Danville. There is no cost for signing up.
Children can sign up to run a full marathon, or 26.2 miles, over the course of the summer, a half marathon, which is 13.1 miles, or a quarter marathon, at 6.55 miles.
So far, 23 children have signed up, said Stoudt, with the youngest at age 5 and the oldest at 14.
“Of the kids who registered so far, all but two have signed up for full marathon. I was really shocked,” said Stoudt. Of the remaining two runners, one signed up for the half-marathon and the other for the quarter.
Since this is the first year for the marathon, Stoudt is unsure how many will eventually sign up.
Participants can run any place their parents are able to accurately measure, whether by using a pedometer, a car’s odometer or an online map system such as Google Maps, said Stoudt. Runners are also free to use local facilities such as the track by Danville Middle School, Hess Field or the Danville Area Community Center. Parents have to fill in how far a child ran on their tracking sheet after each run.
The runners are to cover all but their last 1.2 miles before Aug. 9. On that date, all the kids will meet at the Danville High School stadium track and run the final 1.2 miles together.
The school district, community center and MARC want all of the kids in the community to come out and move this summer, said Ingraham. “The more you move, the better it is for your short-term and long-term health.”
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