With their running shoes on and numbers pinned on their shirts, runners, and walkers waited at the Salt River High School track at 7 a.m. on Saturday, November 20 for the start of the Run Against Diabetes 5K and Fun Run. The event was hosted by the Salt River Diabetes Prevention Program as a way to promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
The sun was barely coming up as more than 150 participants awaited their turn to run. While the older participants were stretching and getting warmed up, the staff of the Salt River Diabetes Prevention program held the first event for the morning, the 50-yard dashes for children ages 3–12. Parents and run participants cheered the kids on as they raced each other. Once the children were finished with their events, the participants in the 2-mile run and 5K gathered in the parking lot and prepared to start running east toward the canal.
An awards presentation was held once all the runners and walkers returned to the high school track.
This year the Traveling Team award went to the Gila River Indian Community, who had the most participants. Other tribes and communities represented were the Tohono O’odham Nation, Navajo Nation, San Carlos and White Mountain Apache tribes, the Ak-Chin Indian Community, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and other runners from Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale and Maricopa.