FITNESS & HEALTH

Decatur 5K will benefit veterans

By Richard Greene | Published Thursday, May 6, 2010

Finding a flat place to run in Decatur can be difficult.

In laying out the course for the Decatur 5K, officials didn’t bother trying to avoid the city’s many hills. Instead they welcomed them.

“It is a challenging 5K,” said Drue Bruton of the veterans group. “It’s not a walk in the park. We’re excited to have the most challenging 5K in the area.”

The Fourth Annual Decatur 5K will be held Saturday at 8:30 a.m., beginning on North State Street at the Wise County Veteran’s Park. The Wise County Veterans Group is partnering with Legend Bank to put on the event.

Naval veteran Tal Morrison, who lives outside Alvord, organized the event four years ago. While living in Dallas after his military career, Morrison started the Cross Country Club of Dallas, which is now the Dallas Running Club and has become the third largest running group in the nation.

He also founded the White Rock Marathon, which had more than 20,000 participants this past December.

“Tal is part of our group, and he wanted to start a 5K,” Bruton recalled. “He thought it would be great for the visibility of the group.”

The race has enjoyed great support since its first running. Bruton said they had between 100 and 150 runners each year.

“They came off real well,” he said.

Last year, the group helped raise money at the race for Jackie Murphree, a Decatur resident who was paralyzed in a car accident and must receive around-the-clock care.

This year, the he proceeds will be used to help local veterans.

“Occasionally we get a veteran through that needs assistance with money or gas,” Bruton said.

The group puts on an annual Memorial Day program and participates in Wreaths Across America at Christmas time, decorating Veteran’s Park. Bruton hopes the group can expand the efforts to local cemeteries.

A tri for kids

Fit-N-Wise will hold its annual Try the Kid’s Triathlon Saturday at 8 a.m. at its center.

The second-year event is designed for children under 10 as an introduction to the sport of triathlon.

“It’s just to get the kids motivated to exercise and let them experience a triathlon,” said Fit-N-Wise trainer Mike Bowers. “Maybe it’ll stick.”

The untimed event is focused on fun. It features different distances for the separate ages of children. Kids under six will swim 25 yards, ride a bike 2 miles and run a half mile. Children seven to 10 will swim 50 yards, bike four miles and run a mile.

“I get a kick out of watching the kids get after it,” Bowers said.

Parents are encouraged to participate alongside their children.

“When they go out on the bike or run, the parents can go with them,” Bowers said. “It becomes a family event.”

Kids can wear floats in the pool. Training wheels for bikes are also welcome.

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