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Kids learn healthy living through running

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Updated: 4/07/2014 10:07 am
When you are at their practices, it looks like recess at school, but the kids "playing" are really athletes, training for a mile long race. It's called the Kids Cafe Fun Run, created by Terry Dalton of Team Kids Cafe.

"We play a lot of games, so they're running, but they really don't know they're running because they're having so much fun," he said.

The South Plains Food Bank's Kids Cafe Program has teamed up with Team kids Cafe to combat childhood obesity.

"The idea is that if a kid develops a healthy lifestyle when they're young, they're going to carry that into adulthood," Dalton said.

He first contrived Team Kids Cafe while enjoying a run with a friend.

"It's great to get out and run with your friends," Dalton explained. "But it's even greater to be someone who has actually encouraged someone else to start running."

Coaches have been teaching kids running basics with clinics and a little encouragement, too. Dustin Milner is the owner of Foot Tech, he helped fit the runners with brand new shoes.

"To see those guys taking their time and money both, and investing them in kids and the boys and girls club, it's fun to partner with those guys and get those kids on the run," he said.

Humdinger Equipment donated the money for the shoes, about 170 of them. The money went a long way.

"We get a discount from brooks and Foot Tech gives us a discount also," Dalton said. "So we're able to purchase over a $100 pair of running shoes for only $40."

Each pair is brand new, fresh out of the box and sized to fit each child individually.

"We custom measured and looked at every foot that we saw," Milner said. "I gave them a few different choices in a few different colors so we can have some happy kids and some running kids."

"When they get their brand new running shoes and their shirt, it's just like Christmas morning, the faces on the kids," Dalton said. "And also when they cross that finish line and they get that finishers medal, you can just see the sense of accomplishment that they have on their faces."

Runners at eight different locations train twice a week for six weeks until their race on April 12th. Anyone can participate in the Run for the Arts on the same morning. It benefits the South Plains Food Bank Kids Cafe program. You can find registration information at this link.
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