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United Day Of Fitness Coming To Huntington

Reported: Mar. 10, 2014 1:07 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 11, 2014 1:04 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Darrah Wilcox) -- Kyle Sniatecki came to Huntington on a Marshall soccer scholarship in 2008. He said, since then, the city's made great strides in health and fitness.
"I've definitely seen some positive changes in the area," he said.

Folks were determined to fight the stereotype after being nicknamed "the fattest city in America" .
"We went through the stages of denial, anger, and finally we got to acceptance and people are starting to get out and realize that fitness needs to be a part of what we do. You see that in the restaurants, you see that in the yoga classes, you see that in the mount of races, 5ks, marathons, and the participation that we have each and every weekend," said Pat Riley, race director for the West Virginia 5K.

In 2009, he said the biggest 5k race in the Tri-state drew in about 350 people. Now, races like the Turkey Trot have more than 1,000 participants.

"More and more people are getting out and running, walking, and just being active," said Riley.

That's why United Way, the YMCA , Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary's Medical Center, the City of Huntington and the Cabell County Commission are working together for the United Day of Fitness on June 21.

"Anytime you can work together on something, your end result is going to be much bigger than if you're trying to work individually," said United Way Executive Director Laura Gilliam.

The three main events will be the WV 5k championship, the West Virginia Senior Games, and the first ever YMCA family fun fest and concert.

"United Day of Fitness is really a great opportunity for everybody. Runners, walkers, families, seniors, to come out and be active in our region, and we're looking forward to see how many people can get out to be a part of these events," said Riley.

For Sniatecki, who recently started his own soccer training business-- Soccer by Sniatecki-- it's affirmation that Huntington is right where he needs to be. "It kind of gives me extra incentive and encourages me to try to make my mark as well," he said.

If you want to check out how to get involved with the upcoming events, check out "www.uniteddayoffitness.com"



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