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  • Summer's End Fun Run on Sept. 28 aims to build healthy community

    Sign up now for the sixth annual Summer’s End Fun Run on Saturday, Sept. 28. Runners and walkers start at Kentwood High School and make their way through the neighborhoods of Covington. (Register now at

    To encourage all ages and abilities, the Summer’s End Fun Run offers a free Youth 2K starting at 8:27 a.m., a 5K fun run and walk starting at 9 a.m., and a 10K fun run starting at 9:07 a.m. Learn more about the race at the Summer’s End Fun Run website.

    The event, coordinated by Coalition for a Healthy Community, aims to encourage families to eat healthy and stay active. All proceeds benefit programs aimed at producing a healthier community by working with different organizations and schools.

    “This a great community event to support those people who are looking to live healthier lives,” said Colleen McMeen, RD, a clinical dietitian and school nutrition program coordinator with MultiCare Health System and the Coalition for a Healthy Community. “I see myself and others who have health challenges that keep us from enjoying life to the fullest, and when we learn to change our choices, subsequent behaviors and then habits, we change our lives. It's so rewarding to be part of that ‘healing,’ and as a community, we can do that together. I do this so my children will see some of this ‘good stuff’ in life.”

    McMeen, along with MultiCare diabetes educator Pam Kramer and other MultiCare employees who volunteer at the event, will help spread the “Ready, Set, Go! 5210” message, which stands for:

    • 5 servings of fruits & vegetables every day
    • 2 or less hours of recreational screen time every day
    • 1 hour or more of physical activity every day
    • 0 drinks with added sugar every day

    The Summer’s End Fun Run began as a way to encourage the community to come together and engage in a fun and health way.

    “We want our community to get excited about healthy living that includes plenty of physical activity, and this was our way of providing an opportunity to do just that,” McMeen said. “Also, we strongly encourage children to develop a desire to move more, which is why we offer a 2K free Junior run as well as those under the age of 13.” (Add $10 if you want a T-shirt for the kids).

    The run is through the neighborhoods of Covington which are safe and fairly flat. The race ends on the new Kentwood track, where participants will find plenty of goodies, music and medals.

    The funds from the Summers End Fun Run have gone toward nutrition education programs for the community, Summers End Passport Prizes for schools to purchase Nutrition and Health Education curriculum and materials, and prizes for individuals to support their family healthy habits.

    The Coalition for a Healthy Community started meeting in 2007, consisting of volunteers from MultiCare doctors, administration, dietitians, Covington City staff, community PTA members and parents who are interested in helping to provide the resources and education to prevent childhood obesity. The group later joined forces with Kent4Health, other health care providers and more than 135 community businesses to offer a summer challenge for elementary students in the Kent School District called the Cruzin’ Passport from 2008-2012. 

    The group aims to link community, schools and government to offer resources, opportunities and education to help keep our community healthy, active, and encourage children and families to Eat Smart, Play Hard, and Learn together.

    To sign up for the fun run, visit

    For more information about the Coalition for a Healthy Community, visit

    Posted on Sep 5, 2013 in Covington, South King County