The weather for running in the Central Valley is less than ideal this time of year. It was cold, damp and foggy on Saturday morning, but that did not prevent the 150 people who participated in the third annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Run/Walk event in downtown Stockton.
The 10 kilometer (about 6 miles), 5 kilometer (3 mile) and 1 kilometer (about two-thirds of a mile) distances were set to get the heart pumping and encourage physical fitness but also to promote health in a somewhat nontraditional way in the event sponsored by the Stockton chapter of the NAACP.
“We hold this to address nonviolence in the community,” Bobby Bivens, chapter president, said. “To run is to bring attention to violence as a health issue.”
Specifically the affects of violence on the African American community, which is disproportionately impacted by violence.
“Little kids see violence in their community and become desensitized to it,” he said. “We’re trying to raise that level of consciousness” so they understand that violence is not the answer.
A variety of participants were attracted to the event. The brave wore shorts with turtlenecks and T-shirts, others opted for sweats, and still some pushed strollers carrying well-bundled toddlers or infants.
The running course began at Martin Luther King Plaza in front of City Hall at Fremont and Center streets before winding its way through downtown and finishing at the plaza.
Overall, spirits were high with music, beverages and vendors as they enjoyed a fun, if not chilly time.
Donald W. Blount is editor of the The Record. Contact him at (209) 546-8251 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @donblount.
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