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Seasoned runners, novices enjoy Live Healthy Iowa 5K

GTNS photo by Grace King

Adam Smith finishes the Live Healthy Iowa 5K at 19:20, coming in first and meeting his goal of staying under 20 minutes. The Live Healthy Iowa 5K was held at East Lake Park on Saturday, April 13.
GTNS photo by Grace King Adam Smith finishes the Live Healthy Iowa 5K at 19:20, coming in first and meeting his goal of staying under 20 minutes. The Live Healthy Iowa 5K was held at East Lake Park on Saturday, April 13.
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Morgan Jones, 12, crossed the finish line of the Live Healthy Iowa 5K in Mt. Pleasant, coming in third and crushing her previous 5K personal record with a time of 27:22.

“I didn’t think I was going to get it,” Jones said, out of breath and smiling.

About 30 adults and 10 kids participated in the Live Healthy Iowa 5K and kids fun run on Saturday, April 13, around East Lake Park in Mt. Pleasant. This is the first Live Healthy Iowa race to be hosted in Henry County. Kelly Carr, community outreach coordinator for Henry County Public Health, hopes it was the first of many.

Mt. Pleasant was one of 18 communities to host a Live Healthy Iowa 5K on Saturday. Live Healthy Iowa 5Ks was also held in Fairfield, Asbury, Bondurant, Britt, Carroll, Decorah, Dike, Hiawatha, Ida Grove, Onawa, Perry, Rathbun Lake, Sergeant Bluff, Sioux Center, Sperry, Story City and Waukee.

Adam Smith was the first to cross the 5K finish line on Saturday at 19:20. His goal was to stay under 20 minutes.

“It feels pretty good. It’s the first time I ran this course competitively, and the first time I’ve been at East Lake in awhile and haven’t had my hat blown off,” Smith said.

Smith was thrilled to see Mt. Pleasant as a location for the Live Healthy Iowa 5K, and after crossing the finish line he was looking forward to completing the fun run with his four-year-old daughter later that morning.

“I wanted to support it because I want to see us continue to get statewide events,” Smith said.

Austin Burns crossed the finish line shortly after Smith, coming in second at 21:40. When Burns heard a Live Healthy Iowa 5K would be in Mt. Pleasant, he said he “definitely had to jump in and run it.”

“It was OK,” Burns said. “I’m glad the first race of the summer is done. It’s a good place to build upon.”

Mark and Shelly Masterson were at the Live Healthy Iowa 5K on Saturday because of their goal to complete five 5Ks a year. The couple is a part of a Facebook group that keeps everyone accountable for completing five 5Ks a year, and if they don’t attempt to complete all five races, they will not be able to be a part of the Facebook group. It’s a great motivator, they both said.

“We use Facebook to keep each other honest,” Mark said. “The 5K challenges keep us healthy.”

Shelly said before they joined the Facebook group three years ago they “kind of quit exercising.” Now, they get to train for something together as a couple.

Anne Pietscher and Elsa Pietscher, of Keokuk, usually sign up for the Live Healthy Iowa 5K in Montrose. With Montrose opting not to host a race this year, they headed for the next closest one in Mt. Pleasant.

“It’s good to get people to think mindfully about their health,” Elsa said.

Anne said community like Live Healthy Iowa is very important in getting people motivated and inspired to be healthy.

“Running and walking is great exercise, and all it takes is a good pair of shoes,” Anne said.

Amanda Dinwiddie, of Montrose, ran her first 5K on Saturday. She is doing a couch to 5K program and had run up to 2.2 miles before the Live Healthy Iowa 5K. She hoped adrenaline would push her across the finish line.

It was the third 5K completed by Mylee Miller, 12. Miller ran her first 5K, which was a Shamrock Shuffle, with a friend three years ago. At the time, she recalls just hoping to get across the finish line. At the Live Healthy Iowa 5K, Miller wanted to get a personal record. Her fastest time was 32 minutes.

“Running helps me feel healthy and in shape,” Miller said.