Morinville Fitness Challenge ready to test mind and body

By Étienne Thevou

Morinville – Runners, retailors and residents at large will team up with the Town of Morinville Oct. 16 for the first Morinville Fitness Challenge, an outdoor fun and fitness event organizers are hoping will become a regular event in town.

Morinville’s Recreational and Cultural Coordinator Melonie Dziwenka is teaming up with fitness instructor Lara Thompson to organize the two-hour fun run that intersperses a good old cardio-vascular work out with pit stops to challenge both body and mind, the end result being an event to lift the spirit.

“What they basically do is they race,” Dziwenka said of participants. “They earn points for how fast they are able to compete.”

But she is quick to point out running speed is not the sole ingredient to earning points for completion speed. Dziwenka said someone might take longer to get from challenge point to challenge point but complete the mental and physical tasks quicker than other competitors.

But just what those challenges are is a somewhat closely guarded secret.

“I don’t want to give too much away as to what the challenges are, but there are four mental challenges and then we have four physical challenges,” Dziwenka said, noting the challenges will take place at local businesses and facilities. “What we’ve done is we’ve tried to pick certain businesses within the town and keeping it within a run area.”

Dziwenka said the businesses were selected largely due to their geographical location along the run route more than for any other reason. The rec coordinator explained the challenges will not take place inside the business but outside where they can be conducted without interfering with customers trying to shop.

Regardless of where the challenges are, keeping the running along 100 Avenue and 100 Street provides an opportunity to showcase some of Morinville’s businesses, those that are stopping points and those passed along the route between. “A lot of people don’t even know the vitamin shop is there,” Dziwenka said of one of Morinville’s newest businesses. “How do we get them to slow down and take a look? When you are running or walking, you’re going to see all the things that are along the way. We have a pretty nice community, so let’s run in it.”

The challenge will begin at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre with registration at 9:30 a.m. The run will commence at 10 a.m. from the cultural centre, progressing west as far as the Ray McDonald Sports Centre and south as far as Curves, located across the road from the Sturgeon County offices. Dziwenka explained none of the physical challenges will be outside the realm of possibility for the average participant.

Healthy fun

Dziwenka said the decision to run the Morinville Fitness Challenge was an easy one and provides an opportunity to continue on with Morinville’s participation in the ChooseWell initiative, while providing another opportunity to get Morinvillians up and moving within the community.

There are plans to do three Morinville Fitness Challenges each year, one in the spring and another in the fall for all ages as well as one designed just for the community’s youth.

Cost to participate in the event is $10 per person. Children under the age of 16 may enter but must be accompanied by someone 16 or older. There are prizes to be won.

For more information contact Melonie Dziwenka at 780-939-7833.

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