Fort4Fitness Kicks Off Its 6th Anniversary (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Eric DeFreeuw - NBC33

September 27, 2013 Updated Sep 27, 2013 at 6:16 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (NBC33) – The annual Fort4Fitness non-profit race hits its 6th year this weekend, complete with a four mile race, a half marathon, and a 10K.

This race is the second biggest running event in the state of Indiana behind the Indianapolis mini-marathon, which is the biggest race of its kind in the world. But the race wouldn’t be possible without the help of over 1,000 volunteers, as well as a number of businesses and charity organizations from around the area. Thanks to them, this weekend is predicted to be the biggest in the event’s history.

"We have people coming from 28 different states and the District of Columbia, and that's pretty consistent,” points out Marty Bailey, Sponsorship Chair for the race. “We've been 25-30 different states pretty much every year that we've done this after the first year. We get folks from all over.”

But the race isn’t just for out-of-towners, a number of local runners have registered for the event as well.

“A lot of it is family members of local residents that come in and run with them. So it's exciting to see the reach that Fort4Fitness has, not only in the Midwest but throughout the country."

All three race courses wind through the streets of Fort Wayne’s south side, but they all end at home plate inside Parkview Field. Which is something Bailey says makes this race unique.

"We get a lot of participants that run in a number of events, including the Indy Mini each year and one of the special things about Fort4Fitness is finishing here in Parkview Field. It’s been a great partnership with the TinCaps and Parkview Field, and we hear from a lot of people that run races all over the Midwest and all over Indiana that they just love the fact that they're able to finish inside the stadium at home plate. It just creates a great atmosphere for our participants."

Fort4Fitness will also feature a gift shop this year where you can purchase souvenirs and apparel from the race as well as a health fair Friday night from 1PM until 9PM.

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