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Get Fit Stay Fit run promotes health, builds camaraderie among co-workers

POSTED: March 31, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Robin Michener Nathan/The Times

From left, Kim Murphy, Ann Reyes, Linda Anderson and Wanda Dorsey from J&J Joggers cheer on a team member during the Get Fit Stay Fit 5K run/walk put on by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce at Riverside Military Academy.

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Organizers couldn’t be happier with the turnout for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Get Fit Stay Fit 5K run/walk.

The event was deemed a great success when the expected turnout of 200 participants quickly grew to more than 1,500.

Robyn Lynch, vice president of membership development for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, was pleased with the inaugural event.

"I was very excited about the turnout," Lynch said, and added that about 100 teams signed up, as well as about 200 individuals.

Kit Dunlap, the chamber’s president and chief executive, said she also was pleased by the cross section of people who signed up.

"Personally, it’s just to see the diversity of those who have participated: young, old, black, white, female, male, you name it," Dunlap said, adding that the event raises health awareness.

Promoting fitness and health was a major reason why many people said their companies chose to participate. Petina Cheek of Homer said that her employer, Northeast Georgia Heart Center, encouraged health and wellness among its employees.

Gail Detraz, 53, of Gainesville said she not only took part in the event because of the fitness aspect but also for the increase in employee camaraderie.

Employees from many businesses who participated teamed up to help each other get ready for the event.

Many Crown Financial Ministries employees said they built up their endurance by taking walks during lunch. Others practiced running to make sure they were ready for the five kilometer distance.

Ben LaVane of Crown Financial Ministries said that "our organization has already lost in four weeks 334 pounds."

"We have been stressing first of all water, the importance of that and getting six to eight glasses a day," LaVane said.

Others also decided to take initial steps on their own.

"I took advantage of the eight-week free membership at the Y," said Stacy Poole, 31, Gainesville.

Lynch said last week that about 300 people signed up for the free eight-week membership at the Georgia Mountains YMCA offered in conjunction with Get Fit Stay Fit. The memberships started in January, giving people two months to get in shape.

Eric Myers, 30, of Gainesville said he was one of those who spent his time working out at the YMCA and lost 10 pounds.

Most participants found that they got plenty out of the event.

Members of the Longstreet Clinic orthopedic department said they found motivation to better themselves from participating.

Dunlap said that it is definitely an event the chamber will build on.

Many participants agreed that they enjoyed Get Fit Stay Fit.

"It’s a wonderful start a great event, and I hope to see it continue," Cheek said.

After expenses have been deducted, proceeds from the entry fees will be divided and given to the Gainesville and Hall County parks departments to be used to promote health and wellness for children, Lynch said.



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