Thanks to unseasonably mild temperatures and some of the most cheerful personalities I’ve ever come across, the second annual APHA Physical Activity Special Primary Interest Group 5K Fun Run/Walk really lived up to its name this morning.
I’m not kidding. It really was fun.
Turnout was about equal to last year’s inaugural event in San Diego, with 50 or so sleepy-eyed but energetic APHA-ers gathering in the pre-dawn darkness to squeeze in some exercise before a day of meetings. Another draw this year was the chance to run those “Rocky” steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They’re not as tough as they look, especially if you take them one at a time.
We had to contend with some city traffic (groups of us stopped at red lights along the route and figured it was interval training). That gave us a chance to talk public health, which is always a good thing.
APHA member Dick Wittberg told me about a project in his home state of West Virginia that found school kids learn better when they’re fit. Jessie Kimmick, who so graciously let me snap her photo on the way back down the Rocky steps, was enjoying the mild morning because back home in Minnesota, running outside this time of year takes layers of technical fabrics and lots of steely resolve to brace the icy chill.
But we all figure if President Obama can find time to exercise, we can too. We know obesity is a big killer in America. The SPIG folks are working to bring attention to the need to incorporate physical activity into public health policy and advocacy. They also want us to be moving every day. You can do it!
Special thanks to SPIG Chair Steven Hooker and member Genevieve Dunton for organizing this year’s run. I’m looking forward to running with them in Denver in 2010.
Kick off the last day of this year’s Annual Meeting by joining SPIG members for a water aerobics session tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. (I know, but then you’ll be alert for the rest of the day) at the Hyatt Regency, 210 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Top photo: Jessie Kimmick shows off her "Rocky" muscles during the Physical Activity SPIG's 5K Run/Walk. Bottom photo: Runners celebrate completing their run. Photos by Donya Currie