This year's Applefest Walk/Run will be bigger than ever.
The run will kick off with a Wellness Fair featuring Danny Cahill, winner of the NBC reality TV show "The Biggest Loser" Season 8, who lost more than 230 pounds in only six months and set the record for the highest percentage of weight loss in the show's history.
Now in its fourth year, the annual Applefest run - sponsored by the Fort Dodge Noon and Daybreak Rotary clubs, and Trinity Healthy Living - has a theme of healthy living and eating. The apple has always been a symbol of healthy foods, so it seems fitting.
The Wellness Fair will begin at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 6 at the Iowa Central Community College Bio-Science Building. This is also the packet pickup site for the Applefest Walk/Run.
"It's a free event," said Teresa Newman, manager of Trinity Healthy Living and Diabetes Center. "There will be educational booths from different businesses, regarding health and wellness. We'll have a lot of the fitness clubs and other health-related businesses."
Cahill will give his motivational presentation at 1:30 p.m. This event is also free, but people should register at trmc.org/danny.
If you go:
WHAT: Fourth annual Applefest Walk/Run celebration and Wellness Fair
WHEN: Oct. 6, Fair and packet pick-up, 11:30 a.m.; Oct. 7, 5k run 9 a.m., omelet breakfast 9:30 a.m., kids' run 9:40 a.m., 10k run 10 a.m.
WHERE: Fair at Iowa Central Community College Bio-Science Building; run begins at St. Edmond School
REGISTRATION: Motivational speaker, free, register at trmc.org/danny. Run is $10 kids run, $20 for age 13 and under before Sept. 30, $25 for all others before Sept. 30, and $30 after Sept. 30. Register at www.fdapplefest.com or from 7:30 to 9 a.m. the day of the race. No T-shirt s promised to late registrants.
The walk/run will be Oct. 7. The 5k walk/run will start at 9 a.m. and the 10k run at 10 a.m., with an omelet breakfast for all runners and a kids' run in between.
The run is for all ability levels, the organizers said.
"You can walk or run," said Newman. "Walking is great exercise too."
"Or push a stroller," added Carla Shimon, Daybreak Rotary president. "But if you want to be a competitive runner, this course has been laid out for competitive running."
"In the future, we're looking for this to be a sanctioned run, but it's not this year," said Jim Patton, of Noon Rotary.
The run is big enough now that they've started using electric timing, said Noon Rotary President John Nielsen. There were 300 participants last year, and this year sponsors are hoping for 400.
Proceeds from the race will be split among the three sponsoring entities. Noon Rotary's portion will go to scholarships for Fort Dodge Senior High and St. Edmond graduates attending Iowa Central.
Daybreak Rotary's portion will go to the Backpack Buddies program.
"Backpack Buddies is a school project that gives kids sack lunches once a week," said Shimon. "They put them in the kids' lockers so not everybody knows it, on Friday. That way they have something to eat at home."
"It's typically low-income families, so they have healthy food to carry them through the weekend," Patton said.
The rest of the money will go to Trinity Healthy Living's THRIVE program, which works in collaboration with the schools to help reduce obesity. People from the Healthy Living department go into the school to teach kids how to eat healthy and live healthy.
"It's trying to get young people to live healthy lives early, and make it a lifelong habit," Newman said. "Today's generation is predicted to live shorter than our generation because of their lifestyle and the lifestyle they're growing up with all their lives."