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Suffolk gets moving

Five-year-old Madie Baker and her 2-year-old brother Buddy laced up their tennis shoes and hit the pavement running Saturday morning — just like their mom does some mornings.

The Baker tandem, along with their parents, were just four of the more than 500 runners and walkers who braved the heat and humidity to participate in the kick off for “Suffolk on the Move.”

“I run, and my kids are always talking about running with me,” said Kelly Baker, who joined Madie and Buddy in the 1-mile fun run. “It’s a good first step to teach them to be active.”

“Suffolk on the Move,” an initiative of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community, in partnership with the Suffolk Parks and Recreation Department, kicked off its yearlong campaign Saturday with a 5K walk/run and one-mile fun run at Constant’s Wharf Marina.

“It’s a great way to fight childhood obesity,” said Monica Eure, who brought her daughter, Gracie Finn Eure, 3, to the 1-mile walk. “It’s good to get them out from behind television and videos. It’s also a great community event. I was surprised by such a high turnout.”

The inaugural event drew participants from throughout the community, representing all age groups and backgrounds.

In addition to the young and old walkers and runners, there were even those young enough to be pushed around in strollers by their parents.

“I normally run to stay fit and started bringing my daughter out because she wants to go into the police academy,” said Bill Uhl, whose daughter, Bridgette, joined him in the 5K. “I heard there was a going to be a 5K and thought it was a great idea.”

In addition to the mission of promoting fitness, the event helped raise nearly 500 pounds of food for the food pantry.

“We are awe struck at the number of people who came out this morning,” Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community President Caroline Martin said. “We’ve had so many people show up without pre-registering that we’re running a little behind. It’s great. I hope it’s a beginning of many more.”