ST. GEORGE — Hundreds of children participating in the “2021 Fun Run” hundreds crossed the finish line on Friday morning and were adorned with a medal to honor their achievement and their participation for a good cause: the prevention of child abuse.
The Fun Run provides an opportunity for kids ages 3 to 17 to participate in an event to promote life-long healthy habits and provide the opportunity to participate in an enthusiastic competition with their families. The race is part of the weekend’s Ironman competition and is sponsored by the St. George Exchange Club. The event included hundreds of entrants who ran in a choice of half-mile or mile foot races.
The kids were encouraged by many enthusiastic volunteer staff who cheered them on, whether they were racing at breakneck speed or keeping up a pace full of purpose, they crossed the finish line amid adoring parents and cheers from the lively crowd.
Nicole Geller, the Ironkids manager of North America, told St. George News the event began 15 years ago, and this is her third year overseeing the activities in St. George. Nearly 400 children participated in the competition, and in addition to the winners, she said that every child who crossed the finish-line received a medal for their efforts.
Geller also said the purpose behind the event is two-fold. First, she said, it is all about the community and getting everyone together in a celebration of health while having fun.
It is also about passing on the message of health to the children and their parents, as well as their grandparents in the hopes it will continue to spread across generations of families.
“It’s really a celebration of getting our kids out and having fun,” she said. “So they feel good about what they are doing.”
Geller added that she is motivated by seeing children participate and then finish the race, regardless of the challenges they face.
“That is what inspires me,” she said.
The race is sponsored by the St. George Exchange Club, and proceeds of the participants’ entrance fees will go toward programs aimed at the prevention of child abuse. The Club is active in the community year-round, putting on such programs as the Southern Utah Preforming Arts Festival and the “Give Me Liberty” program at area schools.
The St. George Exchange Club is involved in numerous community projects and raises funds to benefit many organizations and families throughout Washington County.
This year’s Fun Run sponsors include Brad Harr and Associates, Canyon Media, Dr. Troy Davis Chiropractic Sports Medicine, Einstein Bagels, Fabulous Freddie Car Wash, Findlay Automotive, Healing Massage By Elizabeth and Rainbow Sign and Banner.
The Ironkids competition falls on the eve of the St. George Ironman 70.3 triathlon, a series of long-distance swim, bicycle and foot races at locations throughout Washington County.
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