We’ve run out of adjectives to describe how wonderful it feels to hold a community event that is strictly for kids and shows them how much fun exercise, and running, can be – and in such a beautiful location as Sabino Canyon. Amazing.
We've also run out of words to adequately describe how grateful we are to the very large number of people that it takes to make this happen from the Southern Arizona Roadrunners Board, the SAR FitKidz sub-committee, our extremely generous FitKidz sponsors, the dozens of volunteers giving of hours of their time on a Saturday morning, Petunia the Clown, Kerry Whelan (the Goatographer), the Forest Service, Friends of Sabino Canyon and the Volunteer Naturalists.
On this beautiful fall morning on National Public Lands Day over 250 kids came out and had a blast. All finishers did a fantastic job. Special recognition goes out to the top 3 girls Hayley Floyd (7:20.6), Taylor Becker-Kopke (7:21.7) and Alana Felix (7:40.3). The top 3 boys were Adam Bernal, Jr. (6:36.3), Miles Floyd (6:41.8) and Aric Accetta (7:09.8).
Now to get more specific with folks we should thank; we owe a huge thank you to our FitKidz sponsors, Tucson Medical Center, Center for Neurosciences, Center for Neurosciences Foundation, Champ Youth Sports, Spirit Messingham at Tierra Antigua Realty, Pima Federal Credit Union, eegees, and Sunset Screen Printing & Embroidery. These sponsors help to ensure we can keep doing these free FitKidz events and give the kids great shirts and lots of other giveaways as well.
Our list of volunteers for this event is huge and We’ve probably not managed to remember everyone but thank you all so much for your help: Greg Wenneborg, Linda Whelan, Randy Accetta, Tia Accetta, Harley Brenton, Doreen Castillo, Jeff Fulks, Kristy Lund, Christine Anderson Ferraris, Chad Dailey, Monica Bermudez, Amelie Messingham, Lauren Reasoner, Amy Cole, Robin Gerard, Grant Wiens, Madison Mccue, Diane Tyler, Cheryl Carnes, folks from the FOSC including Sharon Vandergriff, Esther Holloway, and Paul Marques, Sandra and Emily Fleg, Noemi Mills, Kelly Mack, Caroline Gardner, Kamran Talattof, Jenna Ramirez, Cindy Schnell, Abby Feaman, Don Taylor and Mr. Abbot’s class at Santa Rita High school.
Lastly thank you parents, grandparents, family and friends that made the effort to wake your kids up at the crack of dawn, drive them to Sabino Canyon and encourage them to be active! You are setting an amazing example!
We’ll see you out there next year for the biggest and best Sabino Canyon FitKidz One Mile Classic yet!
Steve Outridge and Diane Manzini
Southern Arizona RoadrunnersMore
Thank you for coming out to the FitKidz Mile!More
On-line registration is now open for the 4th Annual Sabino Canyon FitKidz One Mile Classic being held on National Public Lands Day, Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 7:15am. This FREE event a tremendous amount of fun and is for all kids not yet in middle school. Participants will get a free FitKidz shirt and some other goodies courtesy of the Friends of Sabino Canyon.More
Outstanding, joyous, exuberant, festive, heartwarming; those are just a few of the words that come to mind when we think back on the 3rd annual Sabino Canyon FitKidz One Mile Classic that took place on National Public Lands Day, Saturday morning, September 26, 2015 at the majestic Sabino Canyon.
We were incredibly pleased to see 220 kids cross the finish line which was about 50 more than last year! The addition of the cheering supplies table (cowbells/poster making) and having prize packs for each kid that included SAR FitKidz wristbands, snacks, plus a Champ Youth Kids activity book were both a big hit. Along with crossing the finish line, the face painting and the eegees gift certificates that were raffled off were highlights for our young athletes. However, without question our favorite part of the day was simply seeing the smiles on the kids and parents faces as they celebrated being active together!
We would like to thank our good friends with the Forest Service, particularly Mindi Lehew, for allowing us to have this event in the beautiful Sabino Canyon. We’d also like to thank Fred Blatt and the Friends of Sabino Canyon for all of their help and support, as well as the free water bottles they gave to the kids. Thanks as well to Petunia the Clown for all of the wonderful face painting and to our friends at Vision Quest for the goodies they gave to participants and all they do in our community.
Of course, we are also indebted by the support of all of our FitKidz sponsors who partner with us to produce these free FitKidz events. Thank you so much to Tucson Medical Center, Champ Youth Sports, eegees, and Spirit Messingham with Tierra Antiqua Realty.
The course for this event is only one mile long but there are many volunteers needed to make it a success. Many thanks to our SAR’s FitKidz committee, led by Diane Manzini, Doreen Davis, Michelle Hawk, Randy and Tia Accetta and Steve Outridge. Thanks also to race day volunteers including: Greg Wenneborg and RoadRunner Race Timing for donating their excellent timing services, Richard Senti, Chad Dailey, Kim Isaac and daughter, Angelica Maria Martinez, Melissa Ochoa, Amelie Messingham, Melissa Newberry, Michael Miller, Steve Hughes, Doreen Davis, Tera Estes, Don Taylor, Tia Accetta, Monica Bermudez, Cindy Schnell and her class for stuffing our goodie bags, and folks from the Friends of Sabino Canyon including Fred Blatt.
On this day, we were all winners, and we were all one community coming together to promote health and wellness for our youth, and we couldn’t be prouder.
Steve Outridge and Diane Manzini
SAR VPs and Race Directors for the Sabino FitKidz Event
There’s nothing that warms our collective heart more than seeing kids out running and having a great time. That was the thinking behind the creation of SAR’s FitKidz racing series and the 2nd annual Sabino Canyon 1 Mile Kids Classic was again the perfect venue to showcase so much that is good in our fair city. Produced in conjunction with the Friends of Sabino Canyon, we had nearly 300 little ones register to run. Close to 200 kids finished and we think some of you may have forgotten to wear your timing chips but regardless, it was a great turnout and a significant increase from last year. Our winners came across the line in just over 7 minutes – very impressive! Equally as impressive were the smiles and effort of all the finishers!
As always we have many people to thank. We appreciate the Forest Service for allowing us to hold the event in this magnificent canyon, Lahsha Brown and Fred Blatt from the Friends of Sabino Canyon who had lots of goodies for the kids after they finished. The FOSC also had their bike patrol out in force helping to ensure the kids turned around at the half mile point and that they were totally safe along the way. Many thanks also to Petunia the clown for all of the fantastic face-painting and for staying late to make sure every last child who wanted to got some personal art work. Our good friend and FitKidz sponsor Larry Montoya from Caps & More was on hand with his kids enjoying the event and handing out free stuff for the participants. We also owe a hearty thank you to our other FitKidz sponsors, without whom we would not be able to put on these events for free; Tucson Medical Center, Champ Youth Sports, the International Wildlife Museum, Mary & Robert, Brooks and the RRCA’s Kids Run the Nation program.
Producing this race is a large undertaking. We’re giving the kids the full race experience and that means many hours of prep work and many hours on race day to make it happen. As the Race Director I was assisted by a cadre of awesome people. Special thanks go to the leader of our SAR Board’s Kids Action Committee, Diane Manzini and fellow committee member Doreen Davis. They did a huge amount of work to make the event a reality. We’d also like to thank incoming SAR President Tim Bentley for all of his help on race morning and all of the great work on the microphone, Kerry Whelan for his fantastic photos, and volunteers Christine A. Anderson, Monica Bermudez, Lauren Sheehan, Linda Whelan, Kate Woodard, Steve “Blacketts” Hughes, SAR Board Members Randy Accetta and Gary Giese, Nancy Fuller, Tera Estes, Don Taylor, Tia Accetta for leading the kids in some fun warm up drills, and Robin Gerard. Thanks so much to all of you.
We hope to see everyone out at the next FitKidz event, The Great Pumpkin run at Buckelew Farms on October 12, 2014. And, don’t forget to tell a bunch of your friends about it and bring them with you!
For more information on the FitKidz racing series and to find out how you can get involved, please contact Diane Manzini and firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the FitKidz page on our website at http://www.azroadrunners.org/go/category/about/fitkidz_racing_series.
SAR President and Race Director, Sabino Canyon 1 Mile Kids ClassicMore
It was as if someone or something on high was smiling down on us this morning for this first ever race in SAR’s FitKidz Racing Series, the Sabino Canyon One Mile Kids Classic. The skies were crystal clear, the temperatures were fantastically cool, and the canyon was breathtakingly beautiful as families arrived to check in their little ones for something quite unique – a free race for kids ages 12 and under. That’s right, a full-blown, legit, chip-timed one mile race just for kids. Amazing.
Parking was not amazing as a good portion of the main canyon lot was roped off due to repaving. The Forest Service graciously made the SARA Overflow lot available to us for parking and that meant a more than ½ mile warm-up walk or jog to the starting area. Three hearty volunteers directed folks on this journey and we are very grateful for their help in doing so, Merry Dearmon, Steve ‘Blacketts’ Hughes and Joe Plassmann.
Down at the staging area Petunia the Clown was painting faces and making cool items out of balloons. Rural Metro Fire Department was on hand with their big red fire engine. The music played and children were led through various fun games and warm-up exercises (thanks, Tia Accetta!). Randy Accetta, long-time SAR Board Member, Community Leader and MC extraordinaire, was on the microphone letting everyone know what was happening and thanking our fantastic friends and sponsors including TMC, Friends of Sabino Canyon, the Forest Service, the RRCA and, of course, the Southern Arizona Roadrunners.
A trusty stable of talented volunteers and SAR Board Members helped check the kids in for the race, including Doreen Castillo, Diane Manzini (our SAR Kids Program Coordinator), Michelle Hawk, Linda Whelan, Amelie Messingham, Monica Bermudez and Molly. It was quite hectic but everyone got what they needed and prepared to run.
Then it was race time and a sea of white t-shirts sporting the cool FitKidz logo designed by Gina Nelson toed the starting line. Greg Wenneborg, Pima Community College Track Coach and timing expert gave the go-ahead and Randy sent the kids off into the distance. A brisk pace was set by the front-runners and all were giving it their best. At the turn around point ½ mile up the main canyon road two volunteers from the Friends of Sabino Canyon ensured the kids got pointed back towards the finish line.
A large crowd cheered the kids through the finish line and there were many smiling faces as their goal was reached. Congratulations to the top 3 girls, Mia Hanzie, Hanna Miller and Madison McCue and the top 3 boys, Joshua Haight, Richie Miller and Jose Estrada. And, a hearty congratulations to all who finished, including some 1 year olds! All finishers received a cool finisher’s ribbon and some additional gifts from the Friends of Sabino Canyon.
I should also thank our clean-up crew, which in addition to many of the folks already mentioned, included Robin Gerard, Bart Erickson, Mark Martin, John Sabatine, Tim Spriggs and Debbie Nolen.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten some who helped out today and for that I apologize; but, what a fantastic day with great fun for families and friends. Let’s do this again soon. Say, the Great Pumpkin Race at Buckelew Farms sounds like a perfect venue. See the SAR website for all FitKidz details and we’ll see you out there!