Decatur has removed whatever excuse you have for not exercising.
Team Decatur, recruiting members for the September 8 Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk in downtown Atlanta, will kick off an eight-week series of free training events next week. No gym membership necessary, and you’ll be able to exercise with neighbors of similar running or walking style or speed.
Last year, lured by the city’s ambition of putting together a municipal team, I joined Team Decatur. Running really isn’t my thing, but they promised me that I could walk the 3.1 miles of the “race.”
And that’s what I did, along with many, many other people. I finished way at the back of the pack, but I wasn't last!. What I didn’t expect was the huge hoopla that accompanies this race, billed as the world’s largest office party.
Before the race, vendors were distributing all sorts of samples and prizes. Afterwards, corporate tents filled a huge Turner Field parking lot with parties with food and adult libations. It was, in a word, lots of fun!
The inaugural Team Decatur attracted 140 members, all of us dressed in simple green cotton t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Team Decatur.” Decatur was the first city to enter a team, and last year won an award for “Most Fit City”!
This year, Active Living Assistant Director Cheryl A. Burnette says the city’s goal is to recruit 250 members. Not only have I signed up, I' ve also done several other races this year as part of the city's grand slam. I don't even know what I'll be winning; I just liked the incentive.
"One of our missions at Active Living is to get the community more fit, for all ages, and Team Decatur is one way to get the community
working out together," says Burnette.
The eight-week training program "creates a sense of community and encourages people to train together," sayas Burnette. "People who are wanting to start walking and running, but don’t want to do it on their own, this gives them a safe place to get started."
Not a resident of Decatur? Not a problem. You can join if you work, play or shop in the city.
To tempt you further, the city is promising an upgraded Team Decatur t-shirt of high-performance wicking fabric to those who sign up by August 15.
If a t-shirt isn’t enough, then come downtown on Thursday, July 28, from 6-8 p.m. to meet Olympian and running guru Jeff Galloway, Mayor Bill Floyd, and the city's fittest local singer/songwriter Morgan Rowe for an event kickoff. The July 28 event will include a free Health and Fitness Expo featuring local businesses, prizes, fitness information, and information on registering for the run/walk. One lucky person attending the rally will win a free beach
retreat weekend with Galloway on the Florida panhandle, near Seaside. For a sneak peek at the retreat, visit Jeff Galloway's site.
Team Decatur’s 8-week training program leading up to the big race starts next Tuesday with running and walking events scheduled on most days of the weeks.
MONDAYS: 6 p.m. Meet in front of Decatur Library, begins July 25, Walkers led by Active Living Staff/Greg White.
TUESDAYS: 8 a.m.- 10 a.m. Decatur Active Living: Beacon Hill Center, Indoor Walkers, Led by Stridewalkers.
TUESDAYS: 6:30 p.m. , Runners & Walkers, Led by Big Peach staff.
TUESDAYS: 7 p.m. One Step At A Time, Women - Moderate Pace Run led by One Step Staff.
WEDNESDAYS: 8 a.m.- 8:45 a.m. Decatur Active Living: Beacon Hill Center, Runners &Walkers led by Bobbi Elzey of the Decatur Active Living Staff.
WEDNESDAYS: 6:30 p.m. Fleet Feet Decatur, Walk & Run Training Session led by Fleet Feet staff.
WEDNESDAYS: 7 p.m. One Step At A Time, Faster Pace Runners led by One Step staff.
THURSDAYS: 8 a.m.- 10 a.m. Decatur Active Living: Beacon Hill Center, Indoor Walkers led by Stridewalkers.
THURSDAYS: 6:30 p.m. Big Peach Running Company, Runners & Walkers led by Big Peach staff.
SATURDAYS: 8:30 a.m. Fleet Feet Decatur, Runners & Walkers led by Fleet Feet staff.
SATURDAYS: 9 a.m. Big Peach Running Company, Runners & Walkers, led by Big Peach staff.
SATURDAYS: 9 a.m. One Step At A Time, Runners & Walkers led by One Step staff.