It was dark, it was chilly outside and after three days of non-stop Annual Meeting activities, I wasn’t wild about going for a run this morning. But thanks to some energetic members looking to form an APHA Physical Activity Special Primary Interest Group, I had good reason to schlep down to the Marriott hotel lobby at the crack of dawn.
About 50 of us laced up our sneakers for the hopefully first annual APHA Annual Meeting 5K fun run and walk. The route was perfect — who wouldn’t love trekking along the San Diego harbor with tall ships and funky California trees in the background? And for us East Coasters, it felt like 9:30 a.m. instead of 6:30 a.m. That’s what we told ourselves in the pre-dawn dark, anyway.
As the sun rose, the cheerful public healthers jogged along the scenic Embarcadero, and this year’s run was more like a group fitness outing than an actual race. We talked about key public health issues (maternal and child health needs, mental health care access disparities, health care reform and the impact of the upcoming presidential election, to name a few). Race co-organizer Steve Hooker set the tone for the run, saying he was aiming for a slog, also known as a slow jog.
I managed to keep up with the lead pack for about two miles but then hung back — to save energy for the rest of the day, I said to myself. It was pretty much like any other race back home, where my top goals are: don’t be last and don’t fall down. Mission accomplished.
Future Annual Meeting fitness event ideas bantered around this morning include yoga sessions and group bike rides. Special thanks to a very chipper and friendly Genevieve Dunton, also on East Coast time because she hails from Washington, D.C., who had the idea for this morning’s 5K and snapped a photo of us before we hit the trail.