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Archive for Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lawrence aiming for world’s largest workout

June 24, 2009

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Past Event
LiveWell Lawrence World's Largest Community Workout

  • When: Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
  • Where: Shenk Fields, 23rd St. and Iowa
  • More on this event....

Inspired by the ever-growing popularity of Red Dog’s Dog Days, a small group of local health and business leaders working together on a new initiative called LiveWell Lawrence came up with a novel idea: What if Lawrence could set a world record for the largest community workout?

“We were looking for a fun, attention-getting way to get the community talking about how we can help each other live healthier,” Douglas County Community Foundation Executive Director Chip Blaser said. “Some of us are Dog Days regulars. We know that the encouragement and support that Dog Days provides is what keeps us moving.”

According to Blaser, who has participated in Dog Days for five years, the group thought it would be great if more people could have that Dog Days’ experience. Trying to set a world record seemed like the perfect way.

“The more the idea was talked about, the more real it became,” board member of the Douglas County Community Foundation Mike McGrew said.

There was no one better to ask for help gunning the record than Don “Red Dog” Gardner, whose Dog Days draw hundreds of participants on a daily basis. With Gardner’s love for Lawrence and reaching new people through his workouts, he had no hesitation in wanting to help, despite his recent diagnosis of prostate cancer in February.

Thus, in addition to a goal of getting thousands of attendees, LiveWell Lawrence hopes to really recognize Gardner and Dog Days during this time, according to McGrew.

“(Gardner) is amazed that everybody is giving him so much support,” Red Dog’s wife and chief volunteer Beverly Gardner said. “He gives so much and doesn’t expect anything in return.”

So on July 8, Lawrence is recognizing Dog Days and challenging the world as the idea becomes reality. The evening session of Dog Days will be moved to Shenk Fields, Kansas University’s soccer fields at 23rd and Iowa. The workout will accommodate every person in Lawrence, those who would rather walk, intense runners, children and people in wheelchairs or who wish to bring strollers, according to Gardner.

“It will be toned down a little,” Gardner said. “But I still want people to get their workout.”

Organizers of LiveWell Lawrence contacted the Guinness Book of World Records to make them aware of the event, but found too much red tape to pass in making it an official record at this point. Rather, the community is declaring it a world record, challenging other cities to organize a bigger event.

“I don’t think people have gotten their hands around what potential this has,” McGrew said. “Nothing bad will come out of this activity whether an official world record is set or not.”

This activity will be free, as is every session of Dog Days. However, all participants must complete a signed waiver. The waiver can be found online at reddogsdogdays.org. Those under 18 must have the waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Participants are asked to park in KU’s Park and Ride lots west of the fields, and arrive at 5:30 p.m. for registration. The workout is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and last about 45 minutes.

The point of the World’s Largest Community Workout, according to organizers of LiveWell Lawrence, is to bring the community together, have a good time and feel rewarded about being active.

“It’s not as hard as people think,” Gardner said. “Look at me, I have faded a little. But I can still do something.”

Comments

JackRipper 4 years, 10 months ago

Is it that complicated? Just put one foot in front of the other pointed in the direction you want to go. And be real careful for the oversized vehicles rushing to get those close parking spaces.

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aha 4 years, 10 months ago

Why don't you come out and show us how it's done Jack? I'm sure Red Dog would even let you give us a motivational speech.

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JackRipper 4 years, 10 months ago

Ah yes "jayhawk" you miss the point. I find it ironic the realtor involved in this produced the most nonfunctional living area for people to actually incorporate basic walking into their daily lives. I'm not talking about wearing sporty clothes so everyone can see you are being sporty out on those massive, treeless sidewalks but more about just common people who might walk to the store or shop if it was actually possible, people who aren't in top form and would just like an excuse to walk. I know in Lawrence exercise has to be something to look sporty doing but perhaps we could just incorporate what is generally accepted as the best thing people can do and encourage walking to do ones daily business. And again I point out that when dog day's is about to start you don't want to be to close to the parking facilities as you may be ran over by the sporty people race to the closest parking spot in their suvs.

What Mr Gardner is doing is great but how about taking it to the next level and incorporate it into every aspect of your life?

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kujayhawk83 4 years, 10 months ago

Feel free to walk/jog/bike to the event. Hopefully, more folks will be incliined to stay active afterward. Maybe some will even experience an attitude adjustment......

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JackRipper 4 years, 10 months ago

LiveWell Lawrence supposedly promotes health through exercise. So does that mean people should be encouraged to walk or bike to the workout so they can discover how Lawrence is becoming less friendly of a town for people to just incorporate simple basic exercise like walking to work or shopping into their lives or will it just be more of the aggressive suv drivers racing to get to the workout running those down who don't need to be part of a being seen show?

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