A few weeks ago I interviewed Mark Cucuzzella here on Runblogger. Mark is both a physician and the owner of a minimalist-only running store called TR Treads located in Sheperdstown, WV. In talking with Mark, I have discovered that we share a passion for getting kids active, and for making sure that parents make wise choices with regard to children’s footwear (think barefoot as often as practical, and shoes that let their feet work and grow naturally when not).
Mark sent me an email a few days ago asking me to spread the word about an event he is organizing in Sheperdstown called the Freedom’s Run for Kids. It takes place this Saturday, October 2nd, and as in incentive if you live nearby, complimentary Terra Plana Vivobarefoot Kids shoes (apparently over 100 pairs)will be gifted to children on a first-come basis at Mark’s store. Mark was kind enough to send me a few pairs of the Vivobarefoot shoes for my own kids, and I have to say that I am impressed with them so far (I’ll put a review post up soon).
Below are the details from the Freedom’s Run Kids Run Press Release:
On Saturday, October 2, 2010, 400 children are expected to participate in Freedom’s Run, a free Kid’s Fun Run through the historic streets of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. This non-competitive event is open to all ages with children encouraged to run, walk, or stroll a fun filled mile through the scenic streets. The event, which is the first of its kind in the country, is being looked to as a model of what the National Parks can do for public health through an initiative called America’s Great Outdoors.
Freedom’s Run is part of a larger initiative to benefit Wild and Wonderful Trails for Every Child, which builds fitness trails and create “learning” gardens in schools. The first community trail and garden was completed this summer at a rural elementary school as a direct outcome of the inaugural Freedom’s Run event. Children will be running with and without shoes through the school year and families are invited to use the trail after school hours.
2010, which is the second year of the race, also marks a new partnership with Vivobarefoot Kids, a line of shoes that offer all the health benefits of being barefoot with protection. Race Director Mark Cucuzzella MD explains, “We not only want to promote natural outdoor physical activity, but we want to instill in parents the importance of letting children’s feet develop in their natural way. This of course is to spend as much time as possible barefoot and when you need to wear shoes, wear those that compliment normal foot function.”
Complimentary Vivobarefoot Kids shoes will be gifted to children on a first-come basis at the Freedom’s Run Headquarters Two Rivers Treads to complete the race in. In addition, to reinforce the overriding mission of the event, they will also be asked to take their family on a hike in each of the regions National Parks- Antietam National Battlefield, the C&O Canal, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and the Potomac Heritage Trail. Children will get a special Junior Ranger sheet, get a stamp at each Park, and perform a small service project.
Galahad Clark, owner of Terra Plana Vivobarefoot states, “We are thrilled to be included in this event as it demonstrates not only the importance of child foot health, but get kids engaged in the outdoors. A healthy lifestyle should be fun and accessible to all kids. The race sends an important message while helping to fund the Wild and Wonderful Trails, which is making this a reality.”