ANDERSON — Two-year-old Skyler Davidson giggled as he bounced in the giant bounce house erected on the Anderson University football field.
Davidson spent Saturday morning with his mother and siblings at the St. Vincent YMCA Kidz Marathon hosted at the university as part of a free wellness event for local children.
“It’s actually a lot of fun,” said his mom, Stephanie Davidson, 27, of Anderson. “Not only that, I’ve gotten into this health kick and this involves me and my kids.”
More than 900 children between the ages of 2 and 15 registered to walk the 1.2-mile marathon, which is the final event of an afterschool program to complete 26.2 miles, officials said.
The event, which kicked off with the mini run, ended near Macholtz Stadium, where the children were treated to games, music, face painting, refreshments and a variety of activities, including information on kid’s Zumba classes and ballet demonstrations.
“It is a way for us to introduce kids to things to enrich their life,” said Marlene Carey, regional marketing officer for St. Vincent Northeast Region.
She said this is the second year the hospital has partnered with Anderson University and the fourth year for the St. Vincent YMCA Kidz Marathon.
“The program is designed to get the kids active outside for more than one day," said YMCA director Jimmy Byrd. “But what is cool is this event brings a family together to an event.”
Byrd said the YMCA partnered with the hospital for the event to help encourage people to stay healthier and prevent diseases.
Ashley Burgess, 25, brought her children and a cousin.
“We come every year,” she said. “It’s a good experience for the kids. They can run, and we all get medals. Then we can go around to the different booths.”
Ariena Jordan, 10, of Anderson said she loved the bounce house and free refreshments and cannot wait to tell her friends about the event when she goes back to school.
“I am going to show the medal they gave me to all my friends,” she said holding up her medal.
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Video online To see a video from the Kidz Marathon, visit heraldbulletin.com and look for the Tout Video Updates.