Health Expo and Run Mark Earth DayGAMBIER, Ohio (April 17, 2008) The good earth, good health, and a good run converge at Kenyon on April 20.
The second annual Earth Day Health Expo opens at noon in the Kenyon Athletic Center, with some of the runners in the second annual Earth Day Challenge Marathon already on hand. The marathon starts at 7:00 a.m. that day outside the Comfort Inn Mount Vernon, 150 Howard St.
The expo, which ends at 4:00 p.m., includes a rich mix of activities and exhibits that showcase environmental and personal health. A farmer's market, live music, and vendors are lined up. The Brown Family Environmental Center is also hosting a native plants sale.
"It's really an educational event about taking care of ourselves," said Heather Doherty, environmental center program manager. "The idea is that there are lots of connections between health and environmental issues."
The expo seeks to bring home the importance of environmental stewardship by focusing on what's vital to the local community. "This is about our environment, the air we breathe," Doherty said. "I also think it will be fun."
Exhibits will share information on composting, green architecture, and sun safety, among others. Fair-trade coffee, cycling equipment, and natural food and body products are among those items available for sale. Door prizes and demonstrations that include bicycle safety and exercise are also part of the expo. The Great Mad Hoax, an eclectic string ensemble, and the Tin Hearts, a trio sprung from the roots of bluegrass, rock, and the blues, will perform.
The event is sponsored by the environmental center, Kenyon Wellness Initiative, Knox Community Hospital, Knox County Health Department, Knox County Park District, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ohio State University Extension, and Y-Not Cycling and Fitness. About eighty exhibits and vendors will be featured.
The 26.2-mile marathon course sends runners from Mount Vernon to Gambier to Danville and back to Gambier, taking advantage of the Kokosing Gap Trail along the way. The course is certified as a qualifier for the Boston and New York marathons, said David Heithaus, environmental center facility manager.
About one-hundred-fifty runners are expected to compete, some in relay teams. Aid stations will be set up every two miles.
A goal of the environmental center is to encourage outdoor recreation. "We have a perfect course here, with the bike path," Heithaus said. "It makes sense for us to do it at Earth Day."