Former SIU track star helps plan fun and fitness day fundraiser - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Former SIU track star helps plan fun and fitness day fundraiser

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CARBONDALE -- A former SIU track star plans to give back to her community. She'll raise funds for literacy and health by planning the first ever Community Fun and Fitness Relays. The day includes a mixture of exercise, education and culture.

Marian Appiah-Kubi started at SIU in 1998 and now, almost 20 years later, she's using SIU's track to encourage others to have fun while getting fit. Appiah-Kubi has been a runner her whole life.

"It's been air. I don't know how not to run. It's thrilling. It's affirmation of life," said Appiah-Kubi.  

Born in Ghana but moved to Canada at the age of 8, Appiah-Kubi's track skills eventually brought her to SIU-Carbondale. She specialized in the 400m.

"I was always a stronger relay runner than an individual runner and I believe our distance medley record still stands," she said.

Now, she hopes to get people excited about health and fitness through the first annual CFFR. Ages 3 to 11 can participate in 30 to 100 meter dash races and all other ages can participate in the relays. 

Appiah-Kubi hopes the event will give people a feeling of community, "a feeling of unity, a feeling of health and excitement and just to make them want to do this more."  

The event will also include Ghanaian music, arts and crafts, clothing and jewelry. Proceeds go towards the "I Can Read" program and to help build a library for children in Ono-Kwahu, where Appiah-Kubi lived in Ghana, West Africa.

The event is sponsored by SIH, SIU Athletics and the Carbondale Park District. Pre-registration registration ends this Friday, September 15, but you can register the day of the event. 

CFFR will be held Saturday, September 23 from 8 to 4 at the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex at SIU.

The day will wrap up with an awards ceremony.

For more information on how to register, go to the Life Community Center at 2500 West Sunset Street in Carbondale or click here for the event website.

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