Kids on Track Reaches Completion

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COLUMBIA - Students participating in Kids on Track finished their summer-long marathon Thursday night at Stephens Lake Park.

"It was fun running around the lake," said fourth-grader, Chase Shopp. "It was tiring, a lot of hard work, but it was fun."

Boone Hospital Center launched the program for Columbia kids to learn about the benefits of exercise and activity. Kids on Track encouraged children 14 and under to run, walk or bike 26.2 miles, a full marathon, during the summer. The kids started in May.

They completed their final 1.2 miles and crossed the finish line Thursday, marking the completion of their efforts.

"Starting fitness early will usually then carry on for the rest of their lives," said Jeff Zimmermann, Health Promotions Manager. "It's really important that we engage our youth and start early in their life with fitness and nutrition."

Many local businesses and organizations helped sponsor the event, offering incentives and prizes to kids as they reached their checkpoints on their way to a full marathon.

"We're celebrating that we did all of it, said fourth-grader, Addison Kormeier. "We're gonna have dinner and then there's face painting, snow cones, and bouncey houses."

This year saw a record number of participants.

"Last year we had 700 sign up, this year, 1,000," said Zimmermann.

Kids on Track will return next summer.