GO FAR race hits town on Saturday
Students at 39 Triad-area schools and clubs will race this weekend at the Triad GO FAR 5K.
GO FAR, which stands for Go Out For A Run, is an N.C.-based nonprofit that teaches students to set and reach exercise goals. It’s hosting the 12th annual Triad GO FAR 5K at 9 a.m. Saturday at Showplace.
The race marks the end of the 10-week program, which teaches healthy habits and life lessons, in addition to preparing students to run a 5K.
Race Director Michelle Townsendsaid more than 1,600 runners are registered, and she expects more to sign up, a good deal of which will be parents and siblings who are supporting the program participants by running with them.
Townsend said she believes programs like GO FAR effectively combat childhood obesity, and races like Saturday’s are the perfect way to celebrate success.
“North Carolina ranks pretty high for childhood obesity, and if we do not get these kids active, we can’t change that,” Townsend said. “They’re coming home and sitting in front of a ‘magic rectangle’ (computers, TVs, game systems). We need to get them running so they don’t pass on those bad habits.”
Families and friends of runners can stand along the route to watch the race at Showplace or at the corner of N. Hamilton Street and Montlieu Avenue, both of which the runners will pass by twice. Parking will be available across from Showplace at the corner of E. Commerce Avenue and S. Hamilton Street.
For runners who would like a shorter route, a 1-mile fun run at 8:15 a.m. will precede the big race at 9 a.m.
The GO FAR program was founded in 2003 by N.C. physician assistant Robin Lindsay. It has since spread to 10 states and reaches more than 10,000 students annually. Students stay after school 2-3 days a week for instructional time, practice time and even snack time.
The GO FAR lesson plans, geared towards ages 9-12, promote healthy lifestyle decisions to help fight childhood obesity. According to a 2011 report by the Guilford County Department of Public Health, less than 37 percent of the county is a healthy weight while 28 percent is obese. North Carolina ranks 11th in the nation in childhood obesity, according to the Trust for America’s Health.
Townsend said she got her running start with a GO FAR event with her twin boys.
“They trained with their elementary school and I decided to train with them,” she said. “We’d always run there events and we got totally hooked.”
Parents or teachers interested in bringing the GO FAR program to their children’s school can find more information at gofarclub.org.
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Want to go?
• What: Triad GO FAR 5K
• When: 9 a.m. Saturday
• Where: Showplace in High Point
• To volunteer: Check-in area at 7 a.m. race day
• Late Registration: $30/runner 5-7 p.m. Off’n Running, 5870 Samet Drive
$35/runner 7-8:30 a.m. Race day at Showplace
• Where to park: Showplace lot at the corner of E. Commerce Avenue and S. Hamilton Street