More than 500 children, parents, friends and family members gathered for Shannon Medical Center’s sixth annual Kid’s Marathon Thursday evening.
The Kid’s Marathon is a fitness and nutrition program that Shannon and other active participants such as the San Angelo Road Lizards Running Club, YMCA San Angelo, Team Red White and Blue and Goodfellow Air Force Base put on yearly. The program is meant to encourage students in grades kindergarten through six, staff and parents to develop a habit of staying in motion, eating a balanced diet and having a overall good health.
The event took place Thursday at San Angelo Stadium, 1621 University Ave.
According to Shannon health coordinator, September Summers, physical education teachers have had a weekly run day using marathon trackers with their students since January. After four months, their students were supposed to have run 26 miles and the goal was to complete the last 0.2 mile during Thursday’s final lap celebration. Regardless, if the children ran the 26 miles prior to the event, everyone could participate in the run.
“To run a marathon takes hard work and dedication. We are trying to teach them that with hard work they can become successful,” Summers said.
Local high school and college athletes such as players from Angelo State University’s football, baseball, soccer and basketball teams were present at the stadium to mentor, encourage and motivate children to stay active and follow their dreams.
There were games and information provided by local community organizations and businesses, as well as free meals and water for everyone. The first 500 students to cross the finish line received a finisher’s medal and t-shirt for their accomplishments. Other activities included tug-of-war, obstacle courses, Tae Kwon Do and throwing competitions.
While their children participated in activities, parents could walk up to booths to find out what else their children can do during the summer. Most of the organizations represented at the final lap celebration are hosting summer programs.
“Shannon Medical Center supports events like this because we are a community hospital. The leaders of Shannon live in San Angelo and have children who goes to school here” Summers said.
According to Summers, organizations and activities included this year were YMCA, US Tennis Association, Team Chip Tae Kwon Do, the San Angelo Nature Center’s petting zoo, San Angelo Independent School District team sports and summer camps information and the Boys and Girls Club tug-of-war game.
“We couldn’t have done all of this if it wasn’t for the help of organizations and individuals such as Jackson Walker LLP, Armstrong Backus Co. LLP, Big Country T’s, SAISD, YMCA and of course Shannon Medical Center” Summers said. “This has been such an amazing event. The children seems to love it, the parents seems to love it and we love it” Summers said.