Kids don’t really care what the weather’s like outside.
They just want to play. You see it in the smiling boy being picked up from school, snowsuit sopping wet and covered with mud from spring puddles. The girl next to him has the same smile on her face, covered cheek to cheek in dirt after an afternoon outside.
So why don’t we take a cue from them?
One of the first running races of this spring is being organized by Play Every Day’s partner – Healthy Futures. The Tough Slusher will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 12, on the field and trails northeast of Service High School in Anchorage. The race, which will have a 5K and 2K course, is one of the official events recognizing the Anchorage Centennial.
Race organizers know it’s likely going to be snowy and slushy. In fact, Healthy Futures executive director Harlow Robinson hopes it’s a mushy course. It's not called the “Tough Slusher” for nothing.
“Wear your rubber boots!” Robinson said. “Come out and have fun.”
It may be cold … or it may be warm. It’s really tough to say this time of year. But who cares, right?
The race is not competitive, is open to people of all ages, and has no registration fee. The Slusher is a fundraiser for Healthy Futures, however. The signature program of the nonprofit Alaska Sports Hall of Fame,Healthy Futures has the mission of encouraging Alaska children to build the daily habit of physical activity for good health. It supports that mission by organizing low-cost family-friendly events and school-based physical activity challenges each year. (Kids, you can count the Tough Slusher as an activity on your Healthy Futures Challenge log for April!)
Participants who contribute a minimum donation of $20 will receive a Healthy Futures T-shirt.
Robinson said he hopes the Tough Slusher becomes an annual event. Alaska Olympic skier Kikkan Randall will start the race taking participants through a course marked by photographs of Anchorage’s recreation history.
“There’s a shot from the 1930s of the people on the ski train,” Robinson said. “There’s a picture of the Eklutna woman’s basketball team from the 1940s.”
Participants will see photographs that go all the way back to the 1910s.
“I hope they walk away feeling like Anchorage is a healthy, active community,” Robinson said.
Just remember to bring your winter coat, your spring rain boots and your sunglasses. You never know which one you’ll need!