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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Valentine Health Walk draws 162 walkers

Participants line up to register for the Valentine Health Walk on Saturday at the Carolinian Utt in Garapan. (Contributed Photo) The Marianas Walking Association, teaming up with first-time title sponsor Marianas Health Services, had a hugely successful Valentine Health Walk on Saturday.

The Feb. 9 event began registration at 6am in the Utt at the Carolinian Affairs Office in Garapan before daybreak. The 162 participants were greeted by a heavy downpour that did not dampen their enthusiasm. As the registration and assignment of a registration number proceeded, a total of 65 people signed up to take their blood pressure and blood sugar checked. There were nine who had readings that were above normal for blood pressure and 13 had an elevated fasting blood sugar.

When the rain slowed to intermittent showers, the crowd began their health walk. The 5K turnaround was at the Japanese Tank, where the walkers received refreshing bottles of water and had their registration number checked. About a dozen really enthusiastic walkers proceeded to the 10K mark, before returning to the starting point. The first 100 to finish received a special commemorative T-shirt. The supply of shirts was completely exhausted, and the walkers received complimentary water bottles, 2013 Special Edition Health diaries, home emergency preparedness kits, and refreshing fruit snacks. The MHS staff and the Commonwealth Cancer Association volunteers distributed pamphlets regarding health measures and cancer prevention.

The youngest male and female walkers were both 2 years old. The oldest male was 74 and the female was 70. All four received gift certificates from MHS. The largest contingent from one company came from the staff of IT&E, uniformly dressed in very attractive t-shirts.

The walk had the following sponsors: Marianas Health Services and their staff, Coca Cola, Joanna’s Transportation Services, Island Apparel, KZMI, KKMP, MVA, IT&E, Fiesta Resort and Spa, CCA, PDI, American Red Cross, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Carolinian Affairs, and the Commonwealth Cancer Control Program.

George Cruz, president of MHS, walked with his young son. Pleased with the walk’s success, Cruz said, “We will begin planning for the 2014 walk before the end of the year.” (MWA)

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