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ASU, YMCA to host Y Race Fitness Fest

rooftop pool
September 19, 2013

The Valley of the Sun YMCA and Arizona State University are hosting the inaugural Y Race Fitness Fest, an interactive community health event and expo, Oct. 18, at Civic Space Park on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

The free community event will kick off the festivities for Arizona’s oldest running event, the 45th annual Y Race Phoenix, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20.

The Y Race Fitness Fest will feature an assortment of health and wellness information, as well as interactive demonstrations and activities from ASU, the YMCA, the city of Phoenix and other organizations. Y Race registration and packet pick-up also will be available during the Fitness Fest at Civic Space Park (424 N. Central Ave.). The Fitness Fest is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

MidFirst Bank is the presenting sponsor of this year’s Y Race Fitness Fest. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, MidFirst has 25 banking centers across the Valley and serves more than 600,000 customers nationwide. In 2012, ASU and MidFirst Bank announced an 11-year comprehensive strategic alliance that consolidates personalized banking services.

“We are pleased to sponsor the Y Race Fitness Fest,” said Jeff Lowe, MidFirst Arizona market president. “Just as we advocate personal financial fitness, we appreciate the opportunity to promote physical fitness, as well.”

At the Fitness Fest, the Valley of the Sun YMCA along with ASU’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation and College of Health Solutions will provide information and activities for all ages. Attractions will include healthy food tastings, such as parfaits, and a variety of fitness challenges, like jump rope and hula hoop contests.

Representatives from the colleges will be on hand to provide complimentary health screenings. This will include blood pressure and body mass index readings. The colleges also will provide interactive experiences that help people make healthier meal choices. There will be nutritional trivia as well as displays showing how much fat and sugar are in popular foods.

The YMCA will be setting up a “Healthy Village,” which will have a variety of demonstrations and healthy living information. Demonstrations will include group fitness, personal training and adult sports. Yoga, Zumba and aerobics demonstrations will be available.

Youth attractions provided by the YMCA will feature a water safety dunk pool, a soccer goal kick-off and a bounce house. The YMCA will also be providing information on its youth programs, such as child care, sports and camps.

During the Fitness Fest, attendees can tour the Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA and ASU’s new Sun Devil Fitness Center. Unveiled in August, the Sun Devil Fitness Center is a $24.1 million, 73,800-square-foot facility that features state-of-the-art weight and fitness areas. The new center also has a two-court gymnasium and an outdoor rooftop leisure pool.

Information will be available at the Fitness Fest on the fitness classes offered at the YMCA and the Sun Devil Fitness Center.

Health experts from Obesity Solutions also will be available to show people how to create a healthier work station with a stand-up desk. They will share easy steps to increase activity at home and work, as well as technologies that can help make smarter health decisions. Obesity Solutions is a partnership between the Mayo Clinic and ASU that identifies, tests and shares innovative ways of addressing obesity. For children, Obesity Solutions will be offering an art station for them to draw their understanding of health.

As part of its FitPHX initiative, the city of Phoenix will be providing a variety of healthy living activities and information at Fitness Fest. FitPHX is a Phoenix citywide initiative, led by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Councilman Daniel T. Valenzuela and Olympic gold medalist Misty Hyman, with the goal of making the Valley one of the healthiest regions in the nation.

"We're very proud to partner with ASU and the Y on the new fitness festival because it is the perfect way to promote health and wellness within our community," Stanton said.

Valenzuela will be at the Fitness Fest to discuss the FitPHX initiative.

"This event brings together community partners that are experts in health and fitness in one of our city's newest urban parks to offer resources, tools and support, and help residents reach their personal FitPHX goals," Valenzuela said. "Together, we will reach our goal of becoming one of the healthiest cities in the nation."

The Fitness Fest is the latest addition to the Y Race, which features a half marathon, a 5K race and a one-mile "fun run" that is free for children. All events start and finish at the 16,000-acre South Mountain Park, one of the country’s largest city parks.