Track event is held at Cone Park

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 1:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 1:29 p.m.

Hundreds of residents from the Gainesville track and field community turned out for the first-ever Gainesville track meet series, Thursday Night Lights — Speed on Display event.



* What: Gainesville Track Meet Series, Thursday Night Lights — Speed on Display event for children, teens and adults

* When: 7 p.m. June 19 and also July 3 and July 19

* Where: Cone Park, 2841 E. University Ave.

* Information: Call 352-281-2630.

Sprinters, long-distance runners and field event athletes of all ages participated in the event held last Thursday at the track at Cone Park in east Gainesville. Organized by Larry Holsey, executive director of the Gainesville Striders youth track club, the series will become an annual summer showcase of local track and field talent that also will be billed as a community health and wellness affair.

Other meets will be held at 7 p.m. on June 19, July 3 and July 19. Events are free and open to the community.

Holsey said the beauty of the event is that nobody has to register for it. "They just have to show up and run," he said.

He also said the meet is open to residents of all ages who want to improve their health and fitness.

"The goal of the series is to promote living a healthy lifestyle in our community," Holsey said.

Holsey said his vision for the series is to get more people from the Gainesville and Alachua County communities to become involved with living healthier lives. He said the amenities at Cone Park are a great asset to help to realize his vision.

The meets will feature a 40-yard dash, which is a popular speed measurement used by football coaches and scouts; a 4x100 Fun Relay with parents, coaches and children, and a 20-minute community walk accompanied by "happy music" over the sound system.

"The community walk is something churches, organizations, neighborhoods and anybody can participate in to help promote health and wellness," Holsey said.

"I will have a DJ out there and people will be just walking to happy music. It's a chance for people to just get out and exercise."

Chris Wesley, 40, of southeast Gainesville, said he is glad Holsey organized the event because it will give his son, Elijah Hind, 13, something to look forward to this summer.

"I think we need to have more types of events like this for the kids so they will stay out of trouble. Plus, it is good for the city," said Wesley, as he watched Elijah throw the shot put. "I like it."

Kenyatta Haynes of Williston, who also thinks the series is a great idea, said that she thought "more things like this are needed to give kids and parents something to do together that doesn't cost a lot of money. I love this."

For sponsorship inquiries and more information, call 352-281-2630.

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