Julia Karls, who is now 15 years old, participated in the first BLEND Fit Kids Series in 2010, and would absolutely encourage young children to join!
“The Fit Kids Series is a great way to stay active and also have fun,” she said.
Her dad, Wes, added, “The prizes based on how many events you sign up for and complete kept Julia wanting to do more.”
Julia has run many 1Ks and 5Ks since beginning the Fit Kids Series. She has also completed a duathlon and is excited to run the Earth Day Run half marathon relay with her dad in April.
Recently Julia reflected on her Fit Kids Series participation:
What did you enjoy about the Fit Kids Series?
I enjoyed running all the races offered in the Fit Kids Series. At first, I just ran the events not knowing what Fit Kids was, but after receiving a Fit Kids windbreaker that first year, it made me more determined to go out and race and beat my times from before.
Do you have a favorite Fit Kids Series memory?
Of the many races I participated in, the Earth Day 1K was the most vivid. I was about 8 years old, and I remember there were so many people there and I was both excited and nervous (as I am before every race). The race began and over a hundred kids barreled out of the start. Being kids, we naturally ran as fast as we could. I remember trying to work my way to the front. However, despite my efforts, I got shoved to the side and was running on the curb. Knowing a sharp turn was coming, I did my best to get back into the crowd, but tripped and fell off the curb. With my hands and knees scraped, I started to cry, but being the stubborn person I am, I went on to finish the race. That day I realized how strong I was really was and found that my determination outweighed my pain.
What do you do now to stay active? Why do you enjoy being active?
Right now, I stay active by participating in high school sports. I run cross country for Apollo in the fall. In the winter, I am in Nordic skiing and currently I am doing track and field where I run the mile and two-mile. I enjoy being active because it’s fun and, truthfully, it breaks the monotony of everyday life. Personally, adventure runs are my favorite. An adventure run is where you just go for a run and there is no distinct destination — you just go run. So, go out, find a few friends and just go for a run.
Want to join the BLEND Fit Kids Series? Sign up today! This program provides incentives for children (12 years and younger) to be active throughout the year. The series consists of a variety fitness events throughout Central Minnesota. In 2017, children who participate in four or more Fit Kids Series endorsed events, or three plus one additional event, will get a personalized pillowcase! You must register for the series by June 1 to qualify for the pillowcase.