SJPH Sponsors Children’s Wellness Challenge

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St. James Parish Hospital is sponsoring the 2nd annual Run St. James Challenge, a children’s fitness challenge created by local running enthusiast Chad Weidert.

Chad Weidert and his wife Susan, both extremely active in community fundraisers, are motivating children to get fit by offering an award for children ages 14 and under who complete the “Run St. James Challenge.” Challenge races include: the St. Michael’s Fall Fest Run (October 4), the 4-H Fun Run (October 9), the Pumpkin Batch Bridge Run (October 26) and the Bonfire Festival Run (December 14). Kids participating in at least three of the four challenge races be recognized at the Bonfire Festival Fun and receive a beautiful, custom medal commemorating each of the races.

Weidert reveals his excitement about the upcoming races. “Each run has its own unique quality. The St. Michael’s Run will be an evening run along the levee through the Oaks of Manresa Retreat. The 4-H Fun Run will be at Gramercy Park through subdivisions and colored powder will be tossed at participants as they pass certain areas. The Bridge Run is really cool as it starts on the West Bank and participants run over the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge and finish at the St. James Parish Welcome Center. The Bonfire Festival Run speaks for itself. Participants run along River Road in front of the bonfires.”

This year, as an added incentive, St. James Parish Hospital is challenging community youth to “Chase the Rainbow.”  Annually race medals will be displayed on a new, bright color ribbon and participants meeting the challenge year after year will have a colorful keepsake to commemorate their commitment to health and wellness.

In addition to coordinating the challenge, Chad and his wife are giving kids from fourth to eight grade the opportunity to practice at Gramercy Park on Wednesdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Children will be educated on topics such as running/jogging, pace, form and healthy eating. Parents are also encouraged to participate. Signed waivers will be required.

“Very few sports besides running have an end point where the child comes to the finish line and has a crowd of people cheering them on.  The sense of satisfaction, excitement and accomplishment shown on their faces is unequal to any sport I’ve witnessed. Regardless of where they place in the run, for them to come out, participate and accept the challenge shows their desire, said Weidert.”

“Last year, 27 local children were awarded for completing the Run St. James Challenge. We hope that year after year this number will grow as our community’s focus on health and fitness becomes more and more important,” said Director of Marketing Kassie Roussel.

03-Oct-2014 to 14-Dec-2014

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