By Heather Regula, Correspondent
The Healthy Kids Running Series, created by Jeff Long in 2009, provides kids with a positive, educational, and fun running experience. The running program aims to motivate kids to be healthy and active while increasing their self-esteem.
The Healthy Kids Running Series is a five-week-long running program for kids from Pre-K to 8th grade. Each Race Series takes place once a week and consists of age-appropriate running events including the 50-yard dash, the 75-yard dash, a quarter mile run, a half mile, and a one-mile run. Kids compete and earn points for how they place in each race. Trophies are awarded to the top boy and top girl in each age division. All participants receive a medal and gift bag.
Tanya Taylor, a member of the Texas Beef Team and a licensed clinical social worker, is Coordinator of the Healthy Kids Running Series of Belton.
“When a fellow Texas Beef Team member posted about Healthy Kids Running Series in nearby Cedar Park on their Facebook page, it caught my interest, and after further research, I wanted our community in Central Texas to have the same opportunity,” explained Taylor.
Now in her second year as Coordinator, Taylor enjoys helping kids to get active and build a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
“I am always inspired watching the last runner cross the finish line as other runners and parents rally together with cheers, clapping and encouragement for that last runner to push through the remaining 50 yards of the race,” remarked Taylor. “We have some runners that enter HKRS with a negative attitude and struggling to cross the finish line. I have seen those same runners end the series with smiles on their faces, improved stamina and the desire to race again. I find that extremely rewarding.”
The Fall 2018 Race dates are October 14, 21, 28, and November 4 and 11. Each race takes place at Freedom Park in Belton at 3 p.m. Registration fees are $35 for all five races or $10 for a single race. Online registration is available at http://www.healthykidsrunningseries.org/race_locations/belton-tx/. Race Bag Pickup is October 13, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Tri-City Bicycles. Unregistered runners and runners who have not picked up their race bag should arrive at 2:15 p.m. On-site registration is possible.
“Healthy Kids Running Series brings tremendous value to our community. It focuses on living a healthy lifestyle and unites a group of like-minded individuals who come together weekly to learn about healthy habits such as nutrition, physical activity and a stronger connection to their community,” said Taylor.