Kids race for a good cause in ‘Ironkids Fun Run’

ST. GEORGE — Everyone who crossed the finish line was awarded a gold medal in the “Ironkids Fun Run,” a race promoting the prevention of child abuse in downtown St. George Friday evening.

Kids near the finish line of the Ironkids Fun Run in Town Square Park, St. George, Utah, May 5, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

The Fun Run, which served as an opportunity for kids ages 3 to 13 to participate in the athleticism of the weekend’s Ironman competition, is sponsored by the St. George Exchange Club. The event included approximately 450 entrants who ran in a choice of half mile or mile foot races.

Whether zooming through at breakneck speeds or keeping a steady pace, kids appeared to give the race their best shot and were greeted at the finish line by encouraging volunteer staff, adoring parents and cold water.

See video in the media player top of this report.

“The Fun Run is, from our perspective as the Exchange Club, an opportunity for us to promote and advocate for the prevention of child abuse. That’s really one of our primary missions,”James McFadden, Fun Run captain and previous president of the Exchange Club, said.

Each child’s $15 entrance fee will go in part to support the club’s efforts.

“The primary goal for the proceeds are to go to children’s programs,” McFadden said. “About 30 percent of the proceeds go directly to the schools, and we don’t necessarily instruct them what to do with it, we believe they’re smart enough to apply it where it’s going to be best used.”

Kids take a victory walk after crossing the finish line of the Ironkids Fun Run in Town Square Park, St. George, Utah, May 5, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Last year, money from the club’s fundraisers was put toward the Thunder Junction All Abilities Park, a unique public play area designed to be inclusive of children with disabilities.

“Through the club’s efforts, we were able to contribute almost $120,000 to the All Abilities Park,” McFadden said.

Read more: Thunder Junction All Abilities Park debuts to massive crowd

The Exchange club is active in the community year-round, putting on such programs as the Southern Utah Preforming Arts Festival and the “Give Me Liberty” program at area schools.

“We do various programs throughout the community, but our primary goal is to prevent child abuse, McFadden said. “It’s an opportunity to have that voice and reach out to the students, school and to parents. Just advocate for their rights and the processes that are available to help them if they are in a situation they need to be rescued from.”

The Ironkids competition falls on the eve of the St. George Ironman 70.3 triathlon, a series of long distance swim, bicycle and foot races at locations throughout Washington County.

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Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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