Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida announces the Hale & Hearty 7k for June 2 at the Riverside Arts Market

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The Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida presents the Hale & Hearty 7K run on June 2 at the Riverside Arts Market, Jacksonville, FL celebrating healthy communities and happy and healthy places.

Hale & Hearty 7K

“We chose to start our Hale & Hearty racing series in Riverside and Avondale in collaboration with the Riverside Arts Market to bring attention to the community and celebrate the smart decisions made by its leaders.

In celebration of the Riverside/Avondale area as a health community committed to quality of life, the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida is hosting the inaugural Hale & Hearty 7K on June 2, 2012 at the Riverside Arts Market.

The Health Planning Council chose a 7K (4.37m) distance to play off the seven counties they serve and the seven qualities that describe a healthy and sustainable quality of life. Over the next couple of years, the Health Planning Council plans to expand the Hale and Hearty 7K into at least 6 other communities within the Northeast Florida region.

“Riverside and Avondale’s leaders and residents developed a vision years ago to connect the relationships between economic, social and political factors with the goal of developing a healthy community,” said Dawn Emerick, CEO of the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida. “We chose to start our Hale & Hearty racing series in Riverside and Avondale in collaboration with the Riverside Arts Market to bring attention to the community and celebrate the smart decisions made by its leaders.”

Riverside has gained national and international recognition as a great place to live. With its distinctive mix of history, culture, character and community, the neighborhood exemplifies gracious urban living. In 2010, Riverside was honored by the American Planning Association (APA) as one of the country’s 10 Great Neighborhoods under the APA’s Great Places in America program. Riverside is the first neighborhood in Florida to receive this prestigious national recognition.

The Health Planning Council developed a blogging site, http://www.haleandhearty7k.com, featuring guest blogs by Andy Zarka, co-owner of European Street, which has four locations in Jacksonville, who is an avid runner in the Riverside area and participates in many races. The blogging site features information on the Riverside/Avondale area, the assets of healthy communities and will be updated in the months leading up to the race.

Another new feature the Hale & Hearty 7K brings to the Northeast Florida community is the text messaging capabilities. All registered runners will have the option to include their cell phone number and receive text messages with coupons from the merchants in the Riverside/Avondale area.

“We wanted to use our text messaging feature to provide an economic impact to the community and the businesses within the community,” Emerick said. “Our goal is to not only attract runners for the race but to entice them to return to the area and drive additional business to the local merchants.”

The Hale & Hearty 7K will start at the Riverside Arts Market at 8:00 a.m. The course will take runners through two of Riverside’s most popular and frequented parks, Memorial Park and Riverside Park.

The event is being managed by 1st Place Sports and all proceeds from the Hale & Hearty 7K will assist the Health Planning Council to produce its annual regional health care utilization studies and to expand the features of its health-related quality of life indicator dashboard entitled Northeast Florida Counts.

The Mission of the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida, Inc. is to develop regional, unbiased research and evidence-based initiatives that promote healthy communities, lifestyles and improve accessible, quality health care.

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Mya Surrency

Dawn Emerick
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