HARLINGEN — Preparations are under way for the annual SPI Marathon, scheduled for Saturday Nov. 12th in Port Isabel and South Padre Island.
Valley Baptist Health System will serve as the medical sponsor and official hospital for the event which will include a full and half marathon which begin at 6:30 a.m. The starting line will be located at the corner of Manautou and HWY 100 in Port Isabel. Shuttles for registered runners will run from South Padre Island to the starting line in Port Isabel starting 4:30 a.m. and ending at 5:45 a.m. The finish line for both races will be at Clayton’s Beach Bar, located at 6900 Padre Blvd.
“The excitement at the starting line is amazing – the commitment that these people have can all be captured by gaining a medal at the finish line – it’s a reward for all of the effort.”
Marathon Medical Director Dr. Michael Eisen says events like the SPI Marathon are key to the fitness community in the Rio Grande Valley and can be a motivational tools for those looking to lead healthier lives.
When it comes to living a healthier life, Eisen says that running a marathon is not a requirement. Walking and running can help in the fight against diabetes and obesity, with the health benefits of exercise outweighing the potential risk of injuries from participating in athletic pursuits. Recent reports predict that one-third of Americans will develop diabetes by the year 2050. A prime reason local residents should make a commitment exercise.
“If it was for something positive, anyone would love to have those odds, except in this case it’s related to your health. That is the epidemic that is facing us in the future,” said Eisen.
Breaking the chains of a sedentary lifestyle often takes commitment and the desire to lead a healthier lifestyle. In regard to exercise, Eisen suggests walking, and eventually jogging and then running. “If you’re just starting, walk first before you run. You want to build up a base. Walking and jogging are great because they are accessible said Eisen.
Eisen said that when choosing an exercise regimen, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that individuals engage in a moderate level of activity for at least 30 minutes a day, for five days in a week.However, Eisen suggests for individuals to start slow, only after being examined by their physician and building upon the duration and intensity of their activities.
As for the risks of taking up jogging, Eisen said, “Runners can be prone to injuries in the legs and feet — the most common being strains, sprains, and ‘over-use’ type injuries.”
For more information on the health benefits and risks of running and other sports, consult your physician and visit www.ValleyBaptist.net. For more information on the upcoming marathon on South Padre Island, visit www.RunSPI.com.