Thursday, February 7, 2013
Soddy-Daisy is racing toward a healthier future for youth through the first-ever Community 5K Race and Car Show. Soddy-Daisy Middle School physical education teacher Tom Marino is enrolling runners for early registration through Friday, Feb. 15. Early registrants receive a discount and a T-shirt. However, runners can enroll later in February too.
The actual race is March 9 with registration at 7:30 a.m. and the race starting at 8:30 a.m. on Frontage Road. Day-of-race registration will be held at Soddy-Daisy High School; participants will be transported to and from Frontage Road. Chattanooga Track Club will time the race.
“The idea [for the race] started with the School Coordinated Health Club,” said Marino, sponsor of the club at SDMS. “It was an idea to get parents to come out and run with their kids. We thought it would be a good way to bring people together to get their kids out and active.
“Running is something everyone can do to improve their health. We would like to use money raised toward a rubberized track for Soddy-Daisy Middle School to share with the community.”
He added that the race will bring awareness to the school’s need for a track in general.
“We constantly have kids getting shin splints from the asphalt surface,” said Marino. “The middle school runs at the high school and two or three lanes are usable on the hard surface.”
The SDMS Track Team has more than 90 runners, most of whom Marino hopes will take part in the race, he said.
“We have 24 homerooms at Soddy-Daisy Middle School, so I hope at least 15 homerooms put together a running team for the Soddy-Daisy Community 5K Race,” he added.
His goal is to enroll at least 200 runners from the overall community.
New Balance Chattanooga is donating the race tags and School Coordinated Health is donating fruit for the runners.
“In School Coordinated Health we need to educate parents too,” said Marino. “We will have a health fair at Soddy-Daisy High School the day of the race with people talking about diabetes, obesity, asthma, head injury prevention, gun safety, Safe and Sound car seat and bicycle helmet checks and the drug and alcohol task force. There will be a fire truck, a police car and an ambulance for children to check out.”
He said the recommended amount of daily exercise is 20-30 minutes per day. Some students say they can’t run because they have asthma, but staying active actually improves an asthma condition, Marino noted.
“I try to tell students to think about what they eat and put into their body,” he said, adding that from sixth through eighth grade a youth’s body is growing so much, so it is important to make positive health changes in middle school in order to be able to have a good growth spurt.
“Eating right helps your brain perform better and helps you concentrate better on tests,” Marino said.