Kids Run Arkansas draws 750

The sixth annual Kids Run Arkansas Kids was a huge success with 750 participants representing 36 schools.

The event was held April 18 at Laurel Park in Conway. Participants could choose a one-mile or three-mile route and families were encouraged to participate.

“We had the best night for Kids Run 2014,” said race director Heather Kendrick. “The weather was perfect and it was amazing to look across Laurel Park to see families…grandparents, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, all running together. It was a powerful sight.  

“As a runner, and as a mom, it was hard not to get emotional knowing they were experiencing all the things I love about running and sharing that together. I loved seeing the parents set the example for their kids.”

Three local schools were awarded $1,300 in scholarships to use toward physical education programs. St. Joseph School received $700 and bragging rights for first place with 56.7 percent of the school participating. Jim Stone Elementary came in second place and received $400 and Woodrow Cummins Elementary came in third place and received $200.

This year’s Kids Run Arkansas drew 750 participants.

“We are so completely thrilled and thankful for our record-breaking year for Kids Run Arkansas,” said Kendrick. “Our team worked so hard to make this an unforgettable race experience for every child and with 750 participants from 36 schools it was awesome to see everything come together to make it happen.  

“We are proud to be able to give $1,300 in scholarship money back to schools in our community, knowing it will make a difference to local PE programs that need it.”

Kids Run Arkansas is continuing to grow in other Arkansas towns and cities. Benton and Bryant are new satellite hosts for 2014; Clarksville and Jonesboro were both satellite hosts the previous years. Hosts offer Kids Run Arkansas within their community to help bring awareness to the importance of physical activity in youth and working to help combat childhood obesity.

Conway Regional Health & Fitness Center is the corporate sponsor.

“For me, the best things about Kids Run can’t be summed up in numbers, although we are sure proud of those,” Kendrick said. “The best things are the faces of determination on the kids as they run into that finish line, their proud smiles as they show off their ribbons, and that feeling they get in their hearts knowing ‘they did it!’ It’s our hope that those things will last far beyond this night.  

“We hope Kids Run Arkansas gives kids a foundation of fitness that will begin a lifetime of fitness accomplishments.”