Healthy Kids Running Series; Uniting the Community

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Pulling together runners from across the community and from all different ages, the Healthy Kids Running Series is off and running at the Frontier Park in Naperville.

Summary of Healthy Kids Running Series

Garima: I like this area, so many kids signed up, everybody running around the race seems like a marathon, it’s pretty cool I like this atmosphere as well.

Brian: It’s a really cool thing. I think one of the things that makes Naperville so special is that it’s so diverse, you walk around downtown and you see all sorts of different people and to bring that all together and have everybody here racing, it just makes me so happy.

Brian Damhoff is referring to the Healthy Kids Running Series… a 5 week program aimed at getting kids out and active. It’s a nation-wide push that the chiropractor decided he wanted to bring to Naperville.

Brian: I just think it’s one of my goals in the community is to get kids active, get kids moving get them off the couch and just provide this very positive platform and I think you could see that today. I mean everyone is smiling and having fun and it’s just an awesome thing for the community.

Damhoff, in addition to being a chiropractor, is the jumps coach and assistant cross country coach at Plainfield North high school… positions that have taught him the value in having kids run.

Brian: just as my experience as a coach, I just see such a cool thing that cross country and running is and what it can do for kids and just build confidence and get them moving and just make them really confident and great people in life.

Participants’ Experiences

Gerald Houston also understands the value in running. His 12 year old daughter Amaya, and 11 year old son Jeremiah, are both participating in the run… and it isn’t their first.

Gerald: They have been running since they are like 8 years old so it’s one of those thing, I just keep on signing them up, local 5ks, whatever I can do. So my wide said “hey, healthy kids, they are running out here in Naperville, let’s get them running!” so went to church this morning and then said hey lets go run.

Each age group runs a different distance… 2 & 3 year olds run 50 yards, 4& 5 are doing 75, and so on. So in the final stretch of their mile run, Jeremiah passed up his sister… and the reason why?

Jeremiah: I just wanted to win.

And while Jeremiah will enjoy the sibling rivalry win… Amaya just enjoys the experience.

Amaya: Amaya 12 years old: I just really enjoy running, scenary when you do XC, you don’t just run on a track, you actually run out doors in the woods.

Garima Singh has two kids, ages 2 and 10, participating in the Healthy Kids Running Series… something to keep them away from less active

Garima: it’s just a healthy activity to do on the weekend to get the kids not glued to the T.V. and xbox, so keeps them healthy and it’s fun, that’s it, it’s just a healthy thing to do.

And her boys are far from the only ones out at Frontier Park in race bibs crossing the finish line.

Brian: we have four more weeks, this is week one and we’ve got week 2, 3, 4, and 5 and our first series we had 39 kids, today I think we had 111 sign up and I think next spring we are going to have over 200 so it’s an awesome thing.

A great way to get kids from all across Naperville out… and running together.

Reporting for Sports Story Sunday, I’m Kevin Jackman

For more interesting stories from all over the community, check out our Sports Story Sunday page!