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ASU partners with YMCA to host oldest running event in Ariz.

July 26, 2013

Arizona State University is joining with the Valley of the Sun YMCA to host the 45th edition of the Grand Canyon State’s oldest running event – the Y Race Phoenix.

The Y Race Phoenix half marathon, 5K race and 1-mile fun run on Sunday, Oct. 20, will be held at South Mountain Park, the nation’s largest municipal park, with rolling out-and-back routes featuring spectacular views of the desert landscape and Phoenix skyline.

ASU and the YMCA also will be hosting the inaugural Y Race Phoenix Fitness Festival on Friday, Oct. 18, in Civic Space Park, the city park nestled between the Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA on 1st Avenue and the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus on Central Avenue.

“The Y and ASU – two of the Valley’s oldest institutions – share a passion and deep commitment to promoting fitness and healthy living among all Arizonans,” said George Scobas, president and CEO of the Valley of the Sun YMCA. “Combining our strengths will greatly enhance the Y Race and give everyone the opportunity to learn more about healthy living, exercise and nutrition at the Y Race Fitness Festival.”

For the first time, this year’s Y Race Phoenix will give runners the opportunity to create their own teams. “We are excited to see some great competitions among the various ASU schools and colleges, students and alumni, and faculty and staff, as well as teams from the 14 Valley Y locations and other local companies, schools and non-profits,” said ASU Downtown Campus Vice Provost Christopher Callahan.

The Y Race will feature a Kids Zone with a rock climbing wall, face painting, arts and crafts, and YMCA-certified child care professionals to watch children while their parents run the half marathon or the 5K race.

The top male and female finishers in each group will receive awards in both races, and every half marathon finisher will receive a medal commemorating their 13.1-mile run. Vendors will be on hand at South Mountain Park to provide runners with complimentary drinks, snacks and massages. Free parking is available at the race site.

Meanwhile, the Y Race Fitness Festival, to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., two days earlier at Civic Space Park, will feature trainers, experts, instructors and researchers from the YMCA and ASU’s College of Health Solutions and College of Nursing and Health Innovation who will offer interactive exercise and wellness demonstrations, health screenings and talks about health, fitness and nutrition.

“Health goes beyond the physical experience to encompass cognitive, emotional, behavioral, social, spiritual and many other aspects of our shared human experience,” said Teri Pipe, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation. “Health is deeply personal, yet it is also strongly influenced by our friends, families and communities. The Fitness Festival and the Y Race are wonderful opportunities to get together as a community to celebrate and strengthen the resources we have pertaining to health – personally, and as a community – and have some fun at the same time!”

The Y Race Fitness Fest is free and open to the public. Y Race registration is available at:

The Y Race Phoenix and Fitness Fest represent the latest collaboration between the Valley of the Sun YMCA and ASU. The Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA has served as the health and recreation center for Downtown Phoenix Campus students, faculty and staff since the campus opened in 2006. Next month ASU and the Y will unveil a new $24.1 million, 73,800-square foot Downtown Campus Sun Devil Fitness Center, which will be part of the adjacent Lincoln Family YMCA.