By JERRY HITCHCOCK
In our increasingly-prevalent digital world, mental stimulation is only a tap or mouse-click away.
Physical activity is a whole different matter.
To that end, Coeur d’Alene Marathon Director Cynthia Rozyla set to work creating an avenue to get area kids into the habit of getting some daily exercise.
“I’ve got grandkids and friends and I think they spend entirely too much time sitting,” Rozyla said. “They might as well go and do something.”
The Coeur d’Alene Marathon’s 5K to Marathon program encourages kids to begin running either on their own, with family or friends, classmates or even church groups, with the final 5K of a 26.2-mile distance of a marathon being run at the May 28 event in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
Rozyla said she and the marathon’s board of directors have talked about the subject of inactive youths for a few years. “We’ve had a few pilot programs and last year we had 40 people that signed up for the 5K to Marathon event. So this year, I had people who were willing to work on a committee for it.”
With sponsorship from Knudtsen Chevrolet, Rozyla said they now have the ability to go forward and introduce the program.
“We’d like to ensure this is something significant at this year’s event,” she said. Kids who complete the challenge will receive a T-shirt commemorating their accomplishments.
“What it does for the kids, is they compete in this event and our timing service has them separate (from the marathon runners) so they can be podiumed,” Rozyla said. “We have a form and we are trying to hand them out through the school, home schools and church groups, and word of mouth via the website and local media.”
The form will allow a child to track their running distances. “We trust the kids,” Rozyla said, even though family, school or church officials could also be in charge of tallying a child’s progress.
“They may run a half a mile five times a week, and they can track that and so the last 5k at the marathon event to make a total of 26.2 miles,” Rozyla said. “In this way, they are getting used to running on their own in the time beforehand.”
Registration for the event is due by May 24 and the cost is $25. Information: www.cdamarathon.com