Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members and runners from other Native American communities attended the 25th annual Run Against Diabetes, held at the Salt River High School athletics facility on October 13. Every year the fun run is a success, with different communities competing with each other over who will get the trophy for the most participation. This year’s trophy went to the Gila River Indian Community for having the largest number of tribal members come out and participate in the run.
The first event for the day was an early morning Kids’ Dash, which was a half-mile run for kids ages four to 12. “This year the distance for the Kids’ Dash was bumped up; it used to be a 50-yard dash,” said Rachel Seepie, a physical fitness specialist at the Salt River Fitness Center.
For those who wanted just to walk with no competition involved, there was the 1-mile walk. Most of the participants were families walking together.
The 2-mile run/walk followed an in-and-out route along the canal road. It was a great event for both runners and walkers. Also the most popular event, it was both competitive and fun. Seniesha Sekaquaptewa finished with the fastest time, at 16:13, and received the first-place trophy in the female category.
The last event, the 5K (3.1 miles), was the highlight of the Run Against Diabetes. Participants were able to run or walk the course along the canal road. As it is every year, the 5K was a very competitive race. The top male finisher was Wayne Sekaquaptewa, with a time of 19:13; the top female finisher was Janis Pahona, with a time of 23:23.
There was a total of 149 participants for the entire event, and 24 of them came from the Gila River Indian Community.
The next upcoming event for the Diabetes Program is the Jingle Bell 13.1 Relay & 2-Mile Run/Walk on Saturday, December 15.