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Friday Fun Runs a way to have some fun, get healthy
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Ever thought about taking up running to get in better shape? Perhaps now is the time to act on it – and Richmond Hill resident Tim Fortier has just the plan for you.

Fortier, part owner of Tim and Dave’s nursery, has been an active member of the Richmond Hill Roadies – a running club that started up three months ago. Fortier has been trying to come up with a way to get the community more involved in running and physical fitness. When he recently collaborated with McDonald’s owners Gary Dodd and Gary Stanberry, the Friday Fun Runs program was born.

McDonald’s is funding the program and Fortier is coordinating. He got permission from the city to hold the monthly event at J.F. Gregory Park. The first Friday Fun Run takes place June 5 at 6 p.m. and will take place the first Friday of each month at the same place and time.

Fortier has designed two separate runs – a one mile and a three mile – and it is the participant’s choice if they want to run, jog or walk. The event is free for all ages, and complimentary energy drinks will be provided after the run.

"You’re not running against each other," Fortier said. "At the end, each participant will receive a ribbon with their name and completion time on it. The goal is to beat your own time the following month. It’s just good family fun."

Fortier said he was inspired to create this program based on his own experiences.

"When I was 13 and I started running, I started out for fun and just gradually improved myself," he said. "Before I knew it, I was running marathons. I’ve seen health benefits that come from running, and I want to share that with my community."

For more information on Friday Fun Runs, call Fortier at 308-5278. For information on Richmond Hill Roadies, contact Kathy Ackerman at 756-5865 or Billy Tomlinson at 596-5965.

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