Oakwood Red October Run promotes fitness, health to young people

Oakwood Healthcare has promoted the benefits of leading a healthy, active lifestyle to people of all ages long before the issue received national attention.

The Red October Run, which takes place on Oct. 1 at Oakwood Annapolis Hospital (OAH) in Wayne, is no exception. The event, which features a 10k and a 5K run as well as a 5K walk and the “Kids’ Jr. October Mile” a one-mile fun run or walk for children, is part of the healthcare system’s Youth and Family Fitness Initiative, according to Cynthia Cook, who has organized the run since it originated 21 years ago.

“It’s designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and provide an opportunity for healthy activities to children and their families,” said Cook. “We think it’s a great way to promote youth fitness.”

When it returns this year to the streets of Wayne, it will bring additional children’s activities with it. In addition to the October Mile, there will be an Arts & Scraps Scrapmobile for children to “make & take” an art project, a children’s ID kit station, and the Wayne Fire Department will be on hand—complete with a fire truck—to lead children in safety activities.

“We wanted to offer more for the kids who come to the event with their parents and grandparents,” said Sandi Martin, manager of patient relations at Oakwood Annapolis Hospital. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The Jr. October Mile is a free part of the event, where children can walk or run, some ‘skimping’ is permitted and parents can take the course along with their young ones. It is not timed; everyone gets a ribbon and snacks at the end of the course—and plenty of applause, too.

“It emphasizes participation, rather than competition or speed,” said Cook

The Red October Run attracts hundreds of runners of various experience; it is an official, timed course with prizes for top finishers as well as Oktoberfest-themed refreshments including hot dogs, cider, doughnuts, bagels and fruit. There will be a prize drawing for 10K/5K registrants, as well, with items ranging from $100, $75, $50 certificates from Hansons Running Shop, two tickets to a Detroit Lions game, Adidas Digital Candy red chronograph watch, and Stainless Red October Run water bottles and polar fleeces.

For more information or to register, visit www.oakwood.org/redoctoberrun