Fit Fest to benefit Paul Ambrose Trail for Health
September 7, 2012 ·
The Rahall Transportation Institute will conduct the 4th annual Fit Fest in Huntington Sunday. The event includes 5 and 10k’s, kid’s runs and other distances for adults.
The money raised from
the event benefits the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health or ‘PATH as it’s referred
to locally. The Rahall Transportation Institute will conduct Fit Fest on
Sunday, just a couple days before the 11th anniversary of September
That’s the day that trails namesake,
Paul Ambrose perished in American Airlines Flight 97 that crashed into the
Pentagon. Ambrose focused his medical career on family health and using
preventative measures to fight obesity. So a trail system is being established in
his name that leads through Huntington, his hometown. Bethany Williams is Program
Director at the Rahall Transportation Institute. The 4th annual Fit
Fest is just part of the effort for the project.
“We at first started out as a 5k, 10k
and with a couple of kids races and events, but we’ve kind of grown into a
community health event where not only can you participate in running and
walking and, you can also come to see healthy exhibitors and vendors and
opportunities around this area to improve our health,” Williams said.
The trail system leads in and around the
city of Huntington utilizing roadways and existing structures like the flood
wall. Through grants, fundraising, sponsorships and individual contributions,
over $2.5 million has been raised to support the construction and maintenance
of the PATH along with $85,000
“Some parts were already there. With
Ritter, we just tried to improve a couple of things and of course the Flood Wall
is such low hanging fruit we don’t necessarily have to go through land donors
and there’s not a lot of trees to get out of the way type stuff and then seeing
as you’re on a path and a trail, what’s the next step you can’t just end. You
have to connect it to the other part of the trail,” Williams said.
The Huntington community has grasped the
effort to build the PATH.
“Locals neighbors come out and say 'thank
you' for doing this. I walk this every day. There’s not as much crime here
anymore so they’ve started to embrace it and it’s just showing how the
community of the neighborhoods really want it in their neighborhood and it will
be used,” Williams said.
Williams said it’s been amazing to see
how much the community has contributed so far to help an effort that touches on
memorializing, but also aims to improve the health of the region.
“There’s always that continual knowledge
about how that event changed history for many of us and just the good works
that Paul Ambrose did and his of obesity through healthy means in an active
lifestyle, getting that piece out and this is just a way that his fight can
continue on,” Williams said.
Events start at Ritter Park Sunday in
Huntington at 1:30 pm.