Alcorn hosts Health Fair and 5k Run/Walk

The Alcorn State University Extension Program (ASUEP) hosted a 5K Run/Walk and Health Fair in Natchez, Mississippi, along the bluff near the Broadway Street Gazebo. Purple and gold illuminated the landscape as ASUEP staff and the excited faces of the 5K participants prepared to challenge their physiques while listening to the smooth sounds of Alcorn’s WPRL 91.7 FM “The Gold.” The event was held July 12.

The event in conjunction with Jackson State University, WTYJ 97.7FM and local vendors in response to ASUEP’s signature Power of 3 Health and Wellness Program raised awareness to the obesity-related health crisis faced by the state of Mississippi.

The Program is committed to sponsoring activities like the 5K and promoting physical fitness as one of its core components. The valuable information provided by Alcorn, Jackson State and the vendors formed a proactive and concerted effort to positively impact the health and quality of life of Mississippians.

“We had great participation,” said Joshua Coleman, field coordinator with ASUEP. “For some of the participants, this was their first 5K event, a fitness goal which they never thought they would reach. Seeing how the community and the participants felt motivated to complete the run/walk was inspiring. I would like to see this event grow even bigger next year.”

Anthony Reed, ASUEP interim assistant extension administrator, said, “This event was a success. We had a wide variety of participants from both the University and surrounding communities. I’m glad that we came together to host this event.”

The fastest time of the 33 runners belonged to 20-year-old Charles Marsaw. A native of Natchez, Mississippi, Marsaw is a track and field runner at Alcorn. He completed the event in just 20 minutes and 50 seconds.

“It felt really good to participate in the race with my friends and so many other people. I enjoyed having an opportunity to assist Alcorn in its effort to raise awareness in the community on the benefits of being physically fit and leading a healthy life style,” said Marsaw.

Throughout the event, ASUEP and Jackson State’ staff and vendors were on hand to provide valuable information on physical activity, proper nutrition, basic gardening and more.

“I enjoyed the event immensely. I especially liked watching the run/walk, conversing with the participants and networking with other vendors. I hope to participate again next year,” said Vendor Abby Coldblatt, who represented the Southwest Mississippi Mental Health Complex.

Natchez resident Jason McGehee said, “I enjoyed the event immensely. I take my health and wellness seriously and I would say that it was one of the best organized 5K races and health fairs that I’ve attended. Alcorn did a good job and if they have another race, I will definitely participate.”

For more information on this and other Power of 3 Health and Wellness Program events, contact Joshua Coleman at (601) 786-3131 or [email protected].

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