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Fun runs aim to get kids outdoors

PLATTSBURGH - In a world of ever-advancing technology, there are more and more reasons why kids choose to stay indoors. However, the Clinton County Youth Bureau aims to change that.

According to the youth bureau's recreation director, Chris Trombley, many kids are inside playing video games and watching television instead of enjoying the great outdoors.

"I remember when I was a little kid, that's what I did. I climbed trees, go play baseball," said Trombley. "But, now there's just so much more electronic stuff and that kind of thing."

To combat that, the youth bureau will be hosting Spring Fun Runs at the Terry Gordon Memorial Bike Path. Each Saturday throughout the month of April, youths up to age 13 can run along a marked path, with their parents if they choose.

"There's really not a lot of free programming that is provided to youth," Trombley said. "You're at least paying some kind of nominal fee, where all the programs we do [are] free."

Interested runners may sign up each Saturday at 9:45 a.m. at the Plattsburgh Gym Complex, 52 U.S. Oval. Runs will begin at 10 a.m.

Each run is divided by age - ages 6 and younger run a quarter-mile race, ages 7-10 run a half -mile race, and ages 11-13 and adults run a one-mile race. Prior to the races, participants will take the time to stretch with volunteers.

"With any kind of sport really, you should always stretch to prevent injuries," explained Trombley. "We have a couple of great volunteers who come to help us that day and they go through the runs. When I'm actually signing people in, they're helping, providing ... the ideas for the stretching."

At the end of each race, participants will receive a card stating how they placed in the race, which, according to Trombley, is the best part.

"They look at their card. They're just so happy. It blows your mind. But, they really like it," he said. "And, that's the good part of this. The smile on the little kid's face."

In the event of rain, Trombley said he will make the decision whether or not to cancel the runs. If unsure whether or not the races have been canceled, call the youth bureau at 565-4750. There will be a recording stating if the races are still on, Trombley said.

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