600+ Runners Enjoy Community First Hale & Hearty 7K on Saturday, June 2
More than 600 runners participated in the inaugural Community First Hale & Hearty 7K on June 2 at the Riverside Arts Market (RAM). The Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida created the race to celebrate the Riverside/Avondale area as a healthy designed community committed to making quality of life a priority. A healthy designed community is a community that makes choosing health promoting behaviors, such as walking, running, biking, and socially engaging activities, easy and accessible.
The Community First Hale & Hearty 7K at RAM was the first in what will be a seven county racing series. The Health Planning Council will add its second race location next March. To determine where the second race would be held, the runners were asked to choose between Fernandina Beach (Amelia Island) and St. Augustine based on the Health Planning Council’s 7 Criteria of a Healthy Community, which includes having a WalkScore of greater than 70.
An overwhelming majority chose Fernandina Beach for the second race location. The Community First Hale & Hearty 7K will be in Fernandina Beach next March and back at the Riverside Arts Market in June. The Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida will begin researching the best race route and opportunities to hold the race on Amelia Island.
“Our goal is to develop a running series with an event in each of our seven counties we represent,” said Dawn Emerick, CEO of the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida. “We want to put the spotlight on the neighborhoods in each community that are making the smart policy decisions to put healthy community design first, with the hope that more communities will follow in their footsteps.”
The Health Planning Council chose a 7K (4.37mi) distance to play off the seven counties they serve and the seven qualities that describe a healthy designed community and sustainable quality of life. Over the next couple of years, the Health Planning Council plans to expand the Community First Credit Union Hale & Hearty 7K into at least 6 other communities within the Northeast Florida region, beginning with Fernandina Beach.
“As an avid runner myself, I firmly believe in the positive outcomes that physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle can have on a person’s overall emotional and physical well-being,” said John Hirabayashi, CEO of Community First Credit Union, the event’s naming rights sponsor. “I believe that the Community First Hale & Hearty 7K is a prime opportunity to educate and increase awareness for Northeast Florida residents about the importance of creating communities focused on health. While we are currently celebrating the healthy design attributes of Riverside/Avondale, it doesn’t mean we can’t strive to make improvements to each neighborhood in Northeast Florida and create the healthiest region in the United States.”
The run also included a new feature exclusive to the race. Runners received text messages with coupons from local merchants that are for the event’s participants. Coupons included deals from Intuition Ale Works, Five Points Antiques, Jane Doe Boutique, Zoe’s Kitchen, Tasti D-Lite, Sun-Ray Cinema, and many others.
Community First Hale & Hearty 7K 2012 Results
1 Paul McRae, 39, Jacksonville, FL 25:25:00 5:51
2 Rayford James, 16, Jacksonville, FL 26:08:00 6:01
3 Samuel Palmer, 24 26:14:00 6:03
1 Michelle Krueger, 36, Jacksonville,FL 27:09:00 6:15
2 Chelsey Coon, 23, Oviedo, FL 29:35:00 6:49
3 Kelly McRae, 30, Jacksonville, FL 29:57:00 6:54
1 Kevin Jenkins, 55, Jacksonville, FL 28:53:00 6:39Masters Women
1 Kathleen Kaye, 54 30:48:00 7:06