The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Diabetes Education Program held the March Madness Fun Run and Walk on March 22, at Salt River High School’s athletics building. The event includes several runs and walks, starting with the Youth Progressive 1-Mile Run.
All participants wore green, because earlier that week was St. Patrick’s Day. Each participant received a neon-green shirt, which many wore during the event.
All walkers and runners were welcome to join in. After the children completed the final stage of their 1-mile run, the 13K event was next. The route traveled west out of the athletics facility, to avoid confusion with the 5K runners, who turned to the right a short time later. The 5K route traveled east, along the canal and back, and the terrain consisted of asphalt, dirt and cement.
Many Community members, families, co-workers and guests of Community members participated in both events.
“I enjoyed the 5K run. I love going running here in the Community and being able to participate with family, friends and co-workers, and the youth as well. Next time, join us!” said Sophia Perez.
Many parents pushed their young children in strollers.
“It was fun. I liked when I crossed the finish line the best,” said Israel Corrales about running the 5K.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the Fun Run first. It’s really great the way our Community encourages a healthier lifestyle for everyone, by having these fun runs regularly throughout the year,” said Maria Chavez. “Second, it enables us to continue a part of our Himdag through socializing and keeping in touch with our neighboring sister communities like Gila River. Seeing them here makes me feel good that they feel welcome enough and want to come and join us in this ancient fun activity of running.”
This year, a total of 136 individuals participated in the March Madness Fun Run.
“There weren’t any prizes or recognition in either the 1-mile or 3-mile runs; it was purely for fun and socializing with friends, neighbors and co-workers,” said Chavez. “What a fun morning, running toward the east—where the sun rises.”
For more upcoming events, contact the SRPMIC Diabetes Prevention Program at (480) 362-7320.