Published 9:32 pm Monday, October 7, 2013
A record number of participants for this weekend’s Peanut Fest 5K spells success for the longstanding efforts of a number of local individuals and organizations that are encouraging local residents to get healthy.
Saturday’s event drew 827 pre-registrations, almost 300 more than previous events put on by the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community.
More and more people, especially in the Hampton Roads area, are getting turned on in recent years to the benefits of distance running. It requires no gym membership or special equipment, burns calories quickly and provides opportunity for measurable improvement. It doesn’t require the participation of others and doesn’t have to be competitive — most runners strive only to beat their own personal record, not to come in first in a race.
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The fight against obesity takes two tracks that coincide with one another — encouraging a more healthy diet and encouraging physical activity. The Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community has done well in sponsoring events throughout the year that motivate people to get moving.
The 5K races they have sponsored are free to enter and not timed, so there’s no pressure to beat a certain mark. They give out door prizes rather than prizes for first, second and third. The races have attracted people of all ages and levels of physical fitness who are trying to improve their health.
But despite the success of recent events, the race isn’t over, and never will be. Suffolk and Western Tidewater still have rates of obesity and diabetes above the state average. Many people have yet to be reached with the message of healthy eating and physical activity. We applaud the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community for their efforts and encourage them to keep going — and the same goes for everyone who participated in Saturday’s Peanut Fest 5K.