Monday, October 16, 2000

Race promotes fitness and fun for 'just us girls'

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        For the young girls who participated Sunday, it was “fun.” For their moms, the Avon Running 10K run and 5K walk was a step toward building a habit of fitness in their offspring.

        Avon Running, a series of U.S. and worldwide events for women only, came to downtown Cincinnati Sunday morning, bringing 761 women and girls to Fountain Square.

        From there, they ran or walked down Columbia Parkway and back.

        Jill Tranter of Fort Mitchell won the 10K with a time of 35 minutes, 15 seconds, said race organizer Julie Isphording, a former Olympic marathoner.

        Sponsor Avon will donate the proceeds of the race to Bethany House, an agency that provides housing and assistance to homeless and low-income women and children.

        “I think it gives women more confidence to compete among themselves,” said Sue Clayton, 36, of Montgomery.

        It was a nice change of pace for her to run while her husband escorted their kids in the fun run, she said.

        Girls as young as 7 also participated in the 5K with their moms. It was the first walk/run for Rachel Whitaker, 12, of Mason, who pronounced it fun.

        “I don't care what she does as long as she gets some kind of fitness in,” said mom Debbie, who also ran.

        That's the philosophy the Avon Run is trying to encourage, Ms. Isphording said.

        “One in four children in the United States is obese, and it's getting worse,” she said.

        For the second year, three generations of the Rhoda family participated, from grandma Ann, 61, of Mason to daughters Julie Rhoda and Lynne O'Donnell to granddaughter Katie O'Donnell, 13.

        “It's something positive that we can all do together, just us girls,” Ms. O'Donnell said.

        Abi Ostendorf, 11, and sister Chelsea, 13, of Clifton also took to the pavement enthusiastically, outpacing mom Jenny by 7 minutes. They're all considering this the kickoff to training for Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon.

        “I just want to do (the marathon) because there aren't very many kids who have done it,” Chelsea said.


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