PARKERSBURG - Getting kids outside and active is one of the goals of the River City Kids program
A number of area kids were honored Sunday during the River City Runners and Walkers Club's annual River City Kids-Kids Series Races party at the Parkersburg YMCA on Broad Street.
Over 100 kids and their families spent Sunday afternoon playing games, swimming, eating and more.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
A number of area kids were honored Sunday during the River City Runners and Walkers Club’s annual River City Kids-Kids Series Races party at the Parkersburg YMCA on Broad Street.
Starting in April, the River City Runners puts on a number of races geared towards kids which go through October.
"All of these kids participated in some of the races," said Amy Eddy, who serves on the River City Runners and Walkers Club's Kids Committee. "This is their reward for participating, their hard work and their parents for bringing them to all of these races."
At the end of the program Sunday, organizers handed out awards. Any kid who did five races over the last year was presented with a plaque.
"Every year it just keeps growing and growing so we are getting more kids participating," Eddy said. "We had around 250 kids who participated in the races this past year.
"We had around 60 who were getting plaques."
Throughout the year, kids get a t-shirt and a star they can put on it for each race.
"If they can walk they can participate," Eddy said.
The Kids Races usually go from 50 meters to 400 meters. A 400-meter race is equal to one lap around a traditional running track.
"We have had kids racing for many years," Eddy said.
The River City Kids have been offering organized events regularly for the last four year. The kids regularly participate in the Kids runs during the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival.
"It has been really successful," Eddy said. "The kids love participating.
"This is a non-competitive series we run. The first one across the finish lines gets a participation medal just like the last one who crosses the finish line."
In addition to the races, it is a chance for many kids to be out with other kids.
"They love seeing their friends," Eddy said. "They meet other kids and it is a way to get them healthy, active and moving."
The River City Runners provides information about stretching and teaching kids about healthy lifestyles.
"It is nothing real difficult," Eddy said. "It is all appropriate for their age."
Eddy said parents like seeing their kids be active.
Kevin and Amy Mercer, of St. Marys, were at the event Sunday with their son, Mason.
"They learn to have some healthy competition," Amy Mercer said. "They get out and about and get some exercise. It is a good fun atmosphere. We appreciate the River City Runners having this for the kids."
The kids learn about interacting with one another and it is a good place for families to be at.
"It is a nice family environment," Kevin Mercer said.
Phil Davis, of Belmont, was at the event with his son, Josh.
"It is a good program," Phil Davis said. "Josh has made some new friends.
"He has learned to run and exercise. Instead of sitting around, he is out learning to deal with people and be with his friends."
Emily Browning, 11, of Mineral Wells, has been running for years and has been active with the River City Kids.
"I have gotten a lot of exercise and a lot of friendships," she said. "I like meeting new people at the races.
"I think it is a great opportunity to get outside and do some really fun stuff."