RISE Cowley is teaming up with Story of a Runner group (SOAR) to cosponsor the 23rd annual Arkalalah Fun Run at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 27 in Arkansas City.

This fun run, which is open to all Cowley County children in grades K-5, was created to encourage physical fitness and healthy lifestyles for area youth.

Registrations for this event, which has had more than 200 participants in past years, are due at each child’s school by no later than 3 p.m. Friday.

No late registrations will be accepted on race day!

Check-in begins at 9:45 a.m. Oct. 27 at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and South Summit Street in downtown Arkansas City and the Fun Run will start promptly at 10:15 a.m.

Each grade level will run to the end of the route and back. Routes increase in length by a quarter of block for each grade, up to a maximum of a block and a half for the fifth-graders (or three blocks total).

Following all of the races, there will be an awards presentation at 11 a.m. All participants will receive a free colored Arkalalah Fun Run wristband and a finisher’s medal.

Elementary schools with the highest percentage of students participating in the Fun Run will receive one of two Active Achievers Awards. The top public school will receive $300 and the top private school will receive $200. The Fun Run is open to students at all participating public and parochial schools.

These include the Ark City, Burden-Central, Dexter and Udall school districts, plus Ark City Christian Academy, Holy Name Catholic School in Winfield and Sacred Heart Catholic School in Arkansas City.

RISE Cowley grant coordinator Charissa Wall is excited to partner with SOAR on this event. “RISE Cowley loves being a part of this community and celebrating healthy lifestyles,” Wall said.

“The Arkalalah Festival has thousands of attendees and participants each year. To be a part of this long-running festival with Story of a Runner is a great honor.”

This event is provided in cooperation with the Arkalalah Executive Committee and the assistance of KanPak in Arkansas City. There is a suggested donation of $1 per participant.

“RISE Cowley and SOAR thank past sponsor RCB Bank for continuing this tradition all these years, and also thank the Arkalalah Executive Committee for the opportunity to fulfill our respective missions of promoting physical activity in Cowley County through coordination of this event,” said Sarah Bryant, a member of SOAR who also serves on the RISE Cowley steering committee.

About RISE Cowley

RISE Cowley is a coalition of like-minded organizations dedicated to working to make Cowley County a healthier place to live, work and play. Our communities share the traits of passion, perseverance and pride.

RISE Cowley seeks to promote healthy lifestyles by collaborating to raise awareness and encourage involvement for all residents of Cowley County. RISE stands for “Raising awareness, Improving Health, Supporting collaboration and Energizing communities.”

In 2017, Cowley County was selected as one of eight Kansas communities in the largest community grant program ever funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas through a grant facilitated by RISE Cowley. For more information, visit www.risecowley.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

About Story of a Runner

Story of a Runner (SOAR) is a group of people with a common passion for running who live and run in the Cowley County area. The group welcomes anyone who wants to join a group to run along with or would like to start running.

SOAR members are only competitive with themselves, encouraging others and cheering on those finding their own story. Its mission is: “To show motivation, encouragement and support to our fellow runners. We all have a story as to why we run. What’s yours?”

About Pathways to a Healthy Kansas

Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is the largest community grant program ever funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The Pathways program provides 16 community coalitions with the tools and resources needed to remove barriers and engage their communities in ways that enable healthy eating and tobacco-free, active living to become a way of life.

The Pathways grant funding for each community includes a $100,000 coordination grant, along with the opportunity to apply for non-competitive implementation and achievement grants totaling $400,000.

For more information about Pathways to a Healthy Kansas, visit www.bcbsks.com/pathways.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas

For more than 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members to improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars.

BCBSKS is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and is the state’s largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte counties. For more information, visit www.bcbsks.com.