OCEANSIDE — Dozens of teams hit The Strand for the 5K Walk for Life on April 26. Some teams walked and others ran the beach course to raise money and awareness for cardiovascular disease.
Dominic Zabell, a nutrition major at San Diego State, ran the course in 20 minutes. “It’s fun to come out and run for a good cause,” Zabell said.
Ronda Dukes of Temecula walked the 5K course with her husband and daughter.
Dukes has lost 120 pounds and has kept the weight off for two years. “There’s challenges,” Dukes said. “It’s not always easy to go home and have time to cook.”
To help 5K walkers maintain healthy life choices, a health fair was set up at the finish line, located at the Pier Amphitheater, with an emphasis on wellness.
“Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S.,” Sandy Zeitzew, a consultant with the Cardiovascular Disease Foundation, said.
Graphic displays of fat chunks, clogged arteries and unhealthy lungs illustrated the ill effects of eating fried foods and smoking.
Examples of healthy life choices were abundant. Souplantation doled out salads, and Maui Wowi served up fresh fruit smoothies.
Information booths offered blood pressure tests, body fat screenings and exercise tips. There were also interactive stations geared toward kids to teach them about health and exercise.
“Awareness makes people able to change their habits and improve their quality of life,” Christine Wu, Cardiovascular Disease Foundation volunteer, said.
This was the first year the annual 5K Walk for Life was held in Oceanside. For the past five years the walk has been held in Carlsbad. Increased attendance at the event called for the bigger venue Oceanside could offer.