TUPELO – Let’s go walking, Tupelo!
That was the request of Mayor Jack Reed Jr. that nearly 300 residents followed on Saturday morning. As a part of the mayor’s initiative to make Tupelo the healthiest city in the state within the next four years, Reed and members of his health task force kicked off the Mayor’s Marathon.
Participants walked from the HealthWorks! building on South Industrial Road to the Tupelo Farmers’ Market and back for a round trip of four miles.
Reed, his wife and several city and county officials joined in the walk. The large crowd gave the mayor optimism that his plan to make Tupelo healthier city is a doable task.
“I am hoping that this is the first day in the rest of our lives to make Tupelo a healthier community,” said Reed. “This is my marker in the sand today. We are promoting health as a city and this is us getting it kicked off today.”
The Mayor’s Marathon will go through the end of November and will consist of participants logging 26.2 miles of walking or running by the end of the month. Reed said that is the equivalent of walking about 15 minutes a day.
“You can walk every day or you can run until you get it done, it doesn’t matter,” said Reed. “We just want people out exercising. And hopefully when people see others walking through their neighborhoods and down their streets they’ll join in and then everyone will be doing it.”
Robert Atkinson, his wife, Marlene, and his two daughters, Allison, 8, and Andrea, 12, participated in the walk. Robert said even though he doesn’t feel like he’s in bad shape, walking to improve his health isn’t a bad idea.
“Whether you’re in good shape or not, it is still good to be active and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Robert. “We try to walk as a family at least once a week, so this is nothing new to our family, but it sure makes it fun when you get to do it with 200 other people.”
When the group made it to the Farmers’ Market they were met by fairies, witches, super heroes, ghouls and goblins. The Tupelo Main Street Association was hosting its Farmers Market Halloween Costume Contest and Carnival. Children, parents and pets all joined the fun and dressed up for the contest.
Susan Coleman dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and her 4-year-old son Michael was a pirate.
“I’m glad the city put this costume contest on,” Coleman said. “It’s not often that adults get to act like kids, and Halloween is one of those rare times.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal