SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The sixth annual Fastest Kid in Town Race was another huge success; A record 81 children ages 5-12 competed in the 100- and 200-yard races held at Riverside Middle School during the 36th annual Vermont Apple Festival over Columbus Day weekend.
Several competitors were returning racers; a few seeking to get a second, third, or fourth medal after previous wins. Race participants were divided into four age categories.
The 5- and 6-year-old group, many competing for the first time, started by doing some pre-race warm-up exercises with Youth and Family Programs Coordinator Sarah Tilden Gramling. They took their positions on the starting line shortly after noon and sped off at the sound of the starting horn. Adela Fuentes of Springfield was the first girl to cross the finish line. Ashton Page of Baltimore, Vt. won his very first race as the first five-year-old to cross the finish line. Adela claimed her second medal of her young racing career, having completed last year as well. Keeli Stewart of Chester and Malachi Bactad of Springfield claimed the Fastest Kid title in the 7- and 8-year-old division.
The final two races consisted of fast-paced jaunts down the field – and back – to complete 200 yards. Khloi Bruso of Perkinsville and Carter Tanner of Springfield claimed victory in the 9- and 10-year-old group, and it was two 11-year-olds who broke the white finish line tape as the fastest kids in their age division. Amelia Murchie of Springfield and Derek Hodgdon of Chester stood at the podium to claim their medals and titles as the Fastest Kids in Town. All participants received lots of cheering by the crowd of parents and festivalgoers on the sidelines as well as a t-shirt for their efforts.
Sponsored by Springfield Medical Care Systems, The Fastest Kid in Town race began in 2013 to raise awareness on the importance of fitness and physical activity for children. Regular physical activity has been shown to help children and adolescents improve cardio-respiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing chronic health conditions later in life.
In a widely publicized report in the Journal of the American Medical Association ten years ago, it was determined that children’s physical activity drops sharply between the ages of 9 and 15. The authors found that 9-year-old children averaged about three hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity on weekdays and weekends, while 15-year-old children got an average of only 49 minutes per weekday, and 35 minutes per weekend.
Thanks to the continued support of Springfield Medical Care Systems, the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center continues to host this popular event and highlight time fun aspect of physical activity.
For more information about other youth fitness options and events at the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center, please contact Sarah Tilden Gramling, Youth & Family programs coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-885-2568.