More than 800 runners and walkers joined Gov. Phil Bryant for the second "5k Run For Health," one of the governor's initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles in the state.
"It's great to see so many people take an interest in their personal health," said Gov. Bryant, who keeps an active running regimen. "As governor, I continue working hard to set a good example, and I am encouraged by Mississippians who are excited about living healthy lifestyles."
During Gov. Bryant's first State of the State address in 2012, he announced his plans for an annual 5K. Last year's race drew 900 participants. Gov. Bryant said he plans to hold this race each year.
The proceeds from the race go to the Batson Children's Hospital. Gov. Bryant presented Dr. Frederick E. (Rick) Barr, Suzan B. Thames Professor and Chairman of Batson's Department of Pediatrics, with a check for $10,000 before the race.
"We are very fortunate that the children of Mississippi and the state's only children's hospital have Governor and Mrs. Bryant as their champions," Dr. Barr said. "They are dedicated not only to child health, but also to helping us provide the best possible healthcare to all Mississippi children. We are also truly grateful to our many community supporters, including all the people who participated today."
Added Gov. Bryant: "We are proud to support Batson Children's Hospital again this year. The talented, dedicated professionals at Batson provide hope to thousands of children and families, and we are honored to help them in their mission."
Before and after the run, participants enjoyed refreshments and a live band in front of the Trademart. Volunteers from Blue Cross Blue Shield lead a pre-race warm up and also served as pace runners. Patrick House, season 10 winner of NBC's Biggest Loser, helped kick off the pre-race program and also lead the post-race awards ceremony.