Healthy Hearts 5K registration open

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RUMFORD — The River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition is gearing up once again for their winter program of Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days and will commence with the second annual Healthy Hearts 5K Run/Walk on May 20.

The inaugural race in 2011 brought in more than $1,800 to the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk and this year RVHCC is hoping to exceed that amount and will donate all proceeds to the Cardiac Rehab Center at Rumford Hospital.

“Last year’s race was more than we could have hoped for,” said Sandra Witas of RVHCC. “We are looking forward to another large field with lots of new faces. Last year, when we were deciding who the proceeds would benefit, we chose three worthy causes that are near and dear to this organization and they will be on a three-year rotation. The three organizations are the American Heart Association, Rumford Hospital and Maine Harvest for Hunger.”

The 3.1-mile/5-kilometer event will take place through the streets of Rumford on Sunday, May 20. Individuals, families, clubs and businesses interested in walking or running are asked to visit www.active.com/running/rumford-me/healthy-hearts-5k-runwalk-2011 or stop by the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition office at 94 River St. for an entry form.

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The first 100 registered will receive a free T-shirt to commemorate the annual event. Also being given away that day will be hearty bags filled with local coupons and information to help guide you toward a healthier lifestyle.

Participants are encouraged to build teams and wear a unified color, bring  strollers and instill a life-long sense of fitness and health in your youngsters. In fact, new this year, each elementary school will be provided with sponsored T-shirts for third- through fifth-graders to participate. Each participant will be able to register with their families for only $10. Participation certificates will be awarded and the school with the largest team will get a special award on race day.

Available on race day, for as long as supplies last, will be a packet of vegetable seeds to plant in a favorite garden spot.

Anyone looking to attach their name to this heart-healthy event as a sponsor can visit www.rvhcc.org or contact Sandra Witas for more information at 364-7408.

The funds raised will benefit the Cardiac Rehab Center at Rumford Hospital in an effort to support local heart disease patients regain a healthier lifestyle following a cardiac emergency. Participants of the cardiac rehab program work with on-staff nurses to learn better food choices, exercises to help them regain their strength and how to prevent future cardiac occurrences.

To learn more about Rumford Hospital, its Cardiac Rehab Center or their partners at the Central Maine Heart & Vascular Institute, visit www.rumfordhospital.org.

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