Kids Fun Run going full-steam ahead

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

CHESAPEAKE — Running a grueling marathon is pretty intimidating for most people, but for some youngsters, the trimmed-down version of the traditional marathon is just the right size.

Training has begun at several locations in the Tri-State, including Chesapeake Middle School, for the Kids Fun Run, a one-mile run through downtown Huntington, W.Va., designed to promote physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices.

The run is at 8:30 a.m. April 8., beginning and ending at First Sentry Bank, at Ninth Avenue and Eighth Street.

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This is the first time Lawrence County has participated in the run, which is a non-competitive timed event for children ages 6 to 12. All participants will get a t-shirt, a finisher’s award and a pizza party

The run is part of the First Sentry Bank Huntington Half Marathon, sponsored by the Huntington Roadrunners Club and the YMCA.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the kids,” said Ben Coleman, Chesapeake Middle School assistant principal and one of the organizers of the run.

“Any time you can promote physical activity, it’s a positive thing. This gets them out and away from sitting in the front of the TV or playing video games.”

Coleman, Chesapeake girls’ track coach, said training for the run gets kids off the couches and onto the track.

“This shows them that they can be successful and that anyone can succeed if they work hard enough at it,” Coleman said.

The training started Feb. 8 with just a few runners. Now, approximately 30 to 50 runners are logging laps.

Coleman said it’s not just the kids that enjoy training for the run. Parents and school staff are also getting involved, he said.

“The adults are really getting involved, too. Some of them hadn’t run a mile since high school. There really are a lot of success stories,” he said.