NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean today led walkers and runners through downtown Nashville for the Third Annual Mayor’s Challenge 5K Walk/Run, a free community-wide event to celebrate active, healthy living. An estimated 2,776 runners and walkers participated, despite the cold weather.
As part of the Mayor’s Challenge, more than 200 children and parents participated in the Kids’ Fun Run, which was three-quarters of a mile in distance. Both the Fun Run and 5K began and ended at Public Square Park.
“By coming together as a community for today’s 5K, we made a strong statement about Nashville’s commitment to being a healthy city,” Mayor Dean said. “I am proud of all our finishers, and I encourage them to stay active. I appreciate our community partners, volunteers and everyone who participated to make the 5K and Fun Run a success.”
For three years in a row, the Mayor’s 5K has drawn several thousand participants to celebrate active, healthy living. It builds on the momentum of other citywide health initiatives, including Walk 100 Miles with the Mayor and Mayor’s Field Day.
Leading up to the 5K, Mayor Dean and community members participated in an eight-week training program with Metro Parks. Some 120 individuals successfully completed the training program and received free t-shirts.
Storme Warren, producer, writer and host at television network Great American Country (GAC), served as emcee at today’s event. The 3.1-mile route started at Public Square and headed south on Second Avenue. It went along Lower Broadway and Demonbreun Street before heading south on Sixth Avenue South underneath Music City Center. Runners and walkers then moved through the Gulch before returning downtown and finishing on Deaderick Street.
Participants were encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item with them to the 5K to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
Community partners for the Third Annual Mayor’s Challenge 5K and Kids’ Fun Run included Coca-Cola, Jackson National Life Insurance Co., Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, YMCA, Louis S. Yuhasz Jr. Memorial Health Fund, Metro Parks and Recreation Department, Metro Health Department and the Nashville Striders. The Mayor’s Challenge 5K Walk/Run is an initiative of the Footprint Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Dennis Freeman of Freeman Enterprises was race director.