Syracuse, N.Y. ~ Staying fit is a growing concern for kids. Local elementary schools are encouraging their boys and girls to enter in the annual Swamp Rat Runs at Oneida Shores Park.
Race Director Richard Nastasi has seen growth in participation in this event over the years because local elementary schools are pushing their kids to get fit. "We're now in the computer age and the computer games where you sit and you sit and you don't do anything physical, said Nastasi, Race Director. And I think it is important to encourage kids to get involved in athletic types of activities."
There were around 700 entrants in the boys and girls mile runs combined. The Swamp Rat Runs included a 5k followed by a 10k race. Many parents bring their kids to events like this to keep them active. "Running is an athletic activity and it helps them in terms of the physical fitness," said Nastasi.
All mile runners were given souvenir ribbons to show they competed in the races, but only the top finishers received awards and for some, crossing the finish line was just not good enough. "You gotta run smart for the first couple of mile, so you can ruin stupid, said Chris Raulli. Kids are mainly encourage to enter the race, but there is no age limit, making it an enjoyable day for anyone looking for a little fun in the sun, exercise or friendly competition.