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Y Race and Fitness Fest Draw 1,000-plus People

October 21, 2013

More than 1,000 people from across the Valley and Arizona State University participated in the 45th annual Y Race Phoenix, presented by Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness, and the inaugural Y Race Fitness Fest during homecoming weekend.

At South Mountain Park, more than 800 runners participated in Sunday’s Y Race with 250-plus people running the half marathon and more than 550 running the 5K race. On Friday, hundreds visited ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus for the Y Race Fitness Fest, an interactive community health event and expo.

“The Valley of the Sun YMCA started its first half marathon 45 years ago and in the years since added a 5K run/walk to get people up, active and enjoying the beautiful Arizona weather,” said George Scobas, Valley of the Sun YMCA CEO. “We are grateful for the overwhelming community support and proud of the partnership with Arizona State University. The increase in students and faculty that participated was impressive, and we look forward to even more success in the future.”

In the half marathon, Simon Holzapfel, 26, of Tempe, Ariz., was the top male finisher with a time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 19 seconds. Victoria Jackson, 31, of Tempe, was the top half marathon female finisher with a time of 1 hour, 25 minutes and 46 seconds. In the 5K race, Kimberly Barton, 31, of Mesa, Ariz., won with a time of 16 minutes and 1 second. The top male 5K runner was John Hetrick, 46, of Phoenix, with a time of 18 minutes and 46 seconds.

For the first time, runners could create Y Race teams for camaraderie and friendly competition. Fifty community organizations and ASU colleges and schools formed running teams. The largest included the W. P. Carey School of Business, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, the University Technology Office, the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion and the YMCA.

The W. P. Carey School of Business team won both team challenges with a half marathon time of 1 hour, 41 minutes and 29 seconds and a 5K time of 22 minutes and 5 seconds. The School of Nutrition and Health Promotion came in second in the half marathon team challenge with a time of 1 hour, 50 minutes and 22 seconds. Tempe-based company Architekton came in second in the 5K team challenge with a time of 25 minutes and 49 seconds.

ASU leaders, including professors, deans and President Michael M. Crow, participated in the Y Race.

At the Y Race Fitness Fest, sponsored by MidFirst Bank, hundreds of ASU students and community members descended on Civic Space Park on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Representatives from the Valley of the Sun YMCA, ASU and other community organizations shared a variety of health and wellness information as well as interactive demonstrations and activities.

The YMCA had a “Healthy Village” with demonstrations, featuring group fitness, personal training and adult sports. This included yoga, Zumba and aerobics. Runners also registered for the Y Race and picked up their race-day materials at the Fitness Fest.

The city of Phoenix provided healthy living information and activities at the Fitness Fest as part of its FitPHX initiative, which aims to make the Valley one of the healthiest regions in the nation. Phoenix City Councilman Daniel T. Valenzuela was on hand to discuss FitPHX.

At the Fitness Fest, ASU’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation and College of Health Solutions shared a variety of health and wellness information. Attractions included nutritional trivia, a stationary cycling contest and healthy food information.

“The College of Nursing and Health Innovation is very enthusiastic about supporting efforts to engage individuals in health promotion and disease prevention strategies tailored to their unique experience,” Dean Teri Pipe said. “We wanted to get people thinking and learning about one aspect of their personal health they would like to strengthen or maintain. Chances are if people see success in one area of health, it will positively impact other aspects of well-being too.”