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Lighten Up East Texas: 2016 Kicks off with a Bang

By Zairah Wooten

The fourth annual Lighten Up East Texas regional weight loss challenge launched on Monday, January 4th at Broadway Square Mall and will remain open through Monday, February 29th. Participants who are 18 years and older, and reside in an East Texas county, may register for free. Eligible counties and entry locations are listed at LightenUpEastTexas.com.

Lighten Up East Texas first launched in 2013 and was created by the Fit City Tyler Coalition with a goal to create a healthier East Texas. The mission of Fit City Tyler is to help residents of Tyler and East Texas become more aware of the national and local epidemic of obesity and to give residents the tools and knowledge with which to fight against it. Fit City Tyler’s ultimate goal is to make Tyler and East Texas the fittest city and region in Texas, and then the nation.

Tyler Morning Telegraph took a lead in the Fit City Tyler Coalition along with NET Health and the City of Tyler. George Roberts, CEO of Northeast Texas Public Health District, and Dave Berry, former Editor of the “Tyler Morning Telegraph,” became the co-leaders of Fit City and continue to be the leaders today. A steering committee was created, consisting of the most active participants in the first Fit City meeting, and from there, the coalition evolved. George Roberts and Dave Berry continue to lead the steering committee (which plans and implements the Lighten Up East Texas Challenge) but Terrence Ates, Assistant Director of Community Outreach at NET Health, currently serves as the point person for the project. Terrence acts as the main contact for participants. He sends out reminders, coordinates off-site weigh-ins, and more.

“When we established Fit City Tyler in 2010, our mission statement was to ‘make Tyler a Fit City one step, one bite, and one health-conscious decision at a time,’” said Dave Berry, co-chair of Fit City Tyler. “We wanted East Texans to join us in a conversation about weight loss that was not about fad diets, unhealthy or radical weight loss. We wanted something that all would agree was a healthy way for adults (18 and older) to drop pounds and get healthy.”

Individuals and teams consisting of two or more participants can compete to lose weight and improve their health. For every five percent of weight that is lost – calculated from an official starting and final weight – the participant will receive an entry into the grand prize drawing of a brand new 2016 Hyundai Elantra, donated by Allen Samuels Tyler. Fit City Tyler did not want a “Biggest Loser” style weight loss campaign. Everyone on the steering committee agreed that radical weight loss is unhealthy and generally leads to health problems and often to gaining that weight back.

“We hoped that by offering good prizes for a healthy level of weight loss,” said Dave Berry, “we could get Tyler and East Texans actively involved and working toward a personal weight loss goal, and it worked.”

Other prizes include five $50 Brookshire’s gift cards, gym memberships to Trinity Mother Frances and ETMC Olympic Center, and as the weight loss challenge final draws near, additional grand prizes will be announced. Winning teams will also receive prizes that are awarded to each winning team member. In addition, everyone who registers will receive one new, reflective, drawstring backpack.

Prizes will be given to those who do not lose 5 percent or more. Residents who participate in the weigh-out period but do not lose 5 percent or more will be entered into a separate drawing. Weigh-outs will be held Monday, April 25th to Sunday, May 8th.

It is encouraged that participants take several “before” pictures on the day of the official registration for Lighten Up East Texas. Capture a full body photo of what you first looked like, then take on a weekly or monthly basis to track your progress. Share your “before” pictures with family members and trusted friends who can encourage and provide you emotional support on your journey. This system will document your personal change and can provide extra positivity and encouragement for yourself.

Along with Allen Samuels Tyler, several local businesses sponsor Lighten Up East Texas. Community sponsors include: Tyler Today Magazine, NET Health, Suddenlink Communications, Brookshire Grocery Company, and the “Tyler Paper,” City of Tyler, CBS-19 TV, 102.7/106.9 The Blaze, Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, Neighbors Emergency Center, Cigna Healthspring, The Tyler/Whitehouse YMCA, UT Health Northeast, East Texas Medical Center, Tyler Junior College, Jazzercise Tyler, the East Texas Food Bank, and Broadway Square Mall.

“We are pleased to partner with Fit City Tyler to help every person in our community to have an opportunity to be the healthiest they can be,” said Tyler Mayor Martin Heines.

Over 8,000 East Texas residents have participated in the first three years and lost a combined weight of 21,864 pounds. In 2015 alone, 2,325 residents participated and 7,837.45 pounds were shed within the community.

“My hope for the future is that we keep attracting new people and repeat participants who come back each year and continue to lose weight,” said Dave Berry. “We hear their stories, and they proudly show us their beginning weights and progress from earlier years. The car, they say, would be a nice reward, but their real reward is that they are making progress. It’s not just a contest for most of them; it’s the incentive they needed to reverse their own personal struggle with weight. And that’s success enough for me.”

For more info visit www.LightenUpEastTexas.com or contact Terrence Ates with NET Health.

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Easter

April 21st: Lead the Way 5K and more Upcoming Races

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To be listed here is free! Send us info for your event go HERE.

To add a walk, run, or biking event, please send to, eguidemagazine@gmail.com. It is always free to list any event.

April 21st – Lead the Way 5K – Bring the whole family and come out and support our area schools. Register at tylerisd.org. This will begin at 8am and be held at Dr. Bryan C Jack Elementary, 1900 Balsam Gap Rd., Tyler.

April 28th – Diva Du will be held in Tyler. This beginner-friendly race now has an added distance for those seeking more of a challenge as well as a 5K option for those who still want to enjoy the Diva treatment without the full duathlon commitment. For more info go to facebook.com/thedivadu.

April 28th – Tyler Rose City Miracle Run – Run for the kids who can’t. Run for the kids in your life. Run to make miracles. Simply lacing up your shoes and participating in the 2018 Tyler Rose City Miracle Run can help make miracles for the sick and injured kids of Northeast Texas. This will be held at Rose Rudman Park, Tyler starting at 8am. Register at localraces.com.

May 12th – 2018 Komen Tyler Race for the Cure® Save the date for the 20th Anniversary of the Susan G. Komen Tyler Race for the Cure. At 7am, the Survivor Celebration opens. 8am, the Kids Dash begins. 9am, the 5k starts. This annual event raises funds for the breast cancer movement, thanks to supporters and survivors who step up and take action by fundraising for the cause. This will start at Bergfeld Park, 1501 S. Broadway, Tyler. To register go to komenectx.org.

July 4th – Freedom Fighter 5K will be held at Bergfeld Park. Registration is currently open at secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=128684.

September 22nd – Pineywoods Ultra – Run through deep East Texas pine forests on a scenic course underneath towering pines. This diverse, single track course, almost entirely underneath a canopy of 100-foot tall pine timber, will keep you captivated as you navigate rolling hills through rooty and pine needle conditioned trails. Enjoy a post race refreshing swim in the 64-acre spring-fed lake while you rest and recover. As home to the forest race in our eco series, you won’t want to miss this unique chance to run with deer through the deep piney wood forests of Eastern Texas. This is a 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k, and 100k. Wind through deep green pine forests on rooty single track while chasing deer and other wildlife. Enjoy the dizzying and majestic pine canopy above as you are shaded on your adventure. Register at ultraexpeditions.com/thepineywoodsultra 

September 29th – ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk features a 5K run/walk, 1 mile walk, Kids’ Superhero Dash for Dad, and virtual Snooze for Dudes program. ZERO is proud to partner with Urology Tyler, PA to end prostate cancer. Stick around for the family-friendly post-race celebration. Run/walk participants will receive tech shirts, free food and prizes, and the opportunity to connect with others who are impacted by prostate cancer. To register, go to support.zerocancer.org.

October 13th – 2018 Corkscrew Half will be held at Kiepersol Winery, 3933 FM 344 in Bullard. Register by e-mailing itri365meredith@gmail.com.

December 2nd – 2018 Tyler Half Marathon & 5K – This event will give athletes a tour unlike any other through the Rose City of Tyler, Texas. The event will start and finish from TB Butler Fountain Square in the center of downtown Tyler, Texas. More information can be found at tylerhalf.events and be sure to follow The Tyler Half Marathon & 5K on facebook.com/events/1565352873583566/

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Around East Texas

Susan G. Komen 2018 Tyler Race For The Cure®

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Registration is open for the 20th annual Susan G. Komen Tyler Race for the Cure® set for Saturday, May 12, 2018, at Bergfeld Park. This year’s Race co-chairs are Angie Loosely and Danielle Sepulveda. Their goal is to further the Komen mission by reminding our community that it takes everyone to help raise awareness and funds to help the medically underserved get the breast health screenings, education and resources they need.

The Komen Race Series is the world’s largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer. This is the largest event for our community to celebrate breast cancer survivors, honor those we have lost, and serve those in need. Breast Cancer Survivors who wish to be recognized will receive a pink SURVIVOR t-shirt as part of their registration. Beginning at 7am breast cancer survivors will be treated to a breakfast during their celebration on the tennis courts at Bergfeld Park, followed by the survivor group photo which will take place at 8am. In addition, all participants are encouraged to wear “in memory” or “in honor” back signs, honoring loved ones for their strength and courage. This is one of the signature traditions that make the Komen Race for the Cure® so unique.

Call (903)561-6992 or visit komenectx.org to register or to find more information about the 2018 Race for the Cure®. Online registration is open and continues through Friday, May 11th, 2018. Along with a registration form, participants are encouraged to download a pledge sheet for the Power of 10 and help raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Tyler Race for the Cure®. Donations through fundraising are a substantial part of our revenue each year. Every dollar raised goes toward screening mammograms, education and research.

Online registration is $30 Adult (18+), $30 for Survivor, $20 for youth (up to 17 years of age), and $30 Sleep In for the Cure.

Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds from the Komen Tyler Race for the Cure® stay in the local community to fund breast health screenings and educational projects. The remaining twenty-five percent is used to fund national research projects. Sponsorships for the Race are currently being accepted, with packages starting at $500.

The Susan G. Komen promise is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures. Our vision is a world without breast cancer. For more info visit komen.org or call 1(800)-GO-KOMEN.

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Around East Texas

Warmer Weather Calls for 5K’s, Fun Runs & Much More

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To add a walk, run, or biking event, please send to, eguidemagazine@gmail.com. It is always free to list any event.

April 7th – Tyler Run for Autism– Join this 7th annual run inspired with the purpose of raising funds to provide much needed Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for children on the autism spectrum in East Texas. 100% of the funds raised are given back to children enrolled at The Treatment and Learning Center for Children with Autism (TLC) or Autism Response Team of East Texas (A.R.T.). Register at tylerrunforautism.org.

April 7th – The 7th Annual Home Run 5K/10K and Kids Fun Run hosted by Sky Ranch Camps in Van, Texas will be held at The Cannery in Lindale. All proceeds go to build one home a year for a deserving family in the Lindale/Tyler area. The 10K will begin at 8:15am, the 5K at 8:30am and the Kids Fun Run will be at 9:30am. For more information about the ministry, the race, or to register, you can visit proverbs1917ministries.org.

April 14th – Nightwalk for Hope – Held annually, this nighttime walk will be held 5:30-9pm at Rose Rudman Trail. Come together as a community to walk 2.5 miles through Rose Rudman Park as you carry lanterns to light up the night, symbolizing hope and freedom for those silenced by modern day slavery. Register at nightwalkforhope.org. This is sponsored by For The Silent. This family-friendly fundraiser includes multiple food trucks, children’s activities, music from El Guapo Records, and more. As the sun sets around 8:15pm, they will conclude the night with a 2-mile walk on a section of the Rose Rudman trail.

April 21st – Lead the Way 5K – Bring the whole family and come out and support our area schools. Register at tylerisd.org. This will begin at 8am and be held at Dr. Bryan C Jack Elementary, 1900 Balsam Gap Rd., Tyler.

April 28th – Diva Du will be held in Tyler. This beginner-friendly race, now has an added distance for those seeking more of a challenge as well as a 5K option for those who still want to enjoy the Diva treatment without the full duathlon commitment. For more info go to facebook.com/thedivadu.

April 28th – Tyler Rose City Miracle Run – Run for the kids who can’t. Run for the kids in your life. Run to make miracles. Simply lacing up your shoes and participating in the 2018 Tyler Rose City Miracle Run can help make miracles for the sick and injured kids of Northeast Texas. This will be held at Rose Rudman Park, Tyler starting at 8am. Register at localraces.com.

May 12th – 2018 Komen Tyler Race for the Cure® Save the date for the 20th Anniversary of the Susan G. Komen Tyler Race for the Cure. At 7am, the Survivor Celebration opens. 8am, the Kids Dash begins. 9am, the 5k starts. This annual event raises funds for the breast cancer movement, thanks to supporters and survivors who step up and take action by fundraising for the cause. This will start at Bergfeld Park, 1501 S. Broadway, Tyler. To register go to komenectx.org.

July 4th – Freedom Fighter 5K will be held at Bergfeld Park. Registration is currently open at facebook.com/events/1219303424838365.

September 22nd – Pineywoods Ultra – Run through deep East Texas pine forests on a scenic course underneath towering pines. This diverse, single track course, almost entirely underneath a canopy of 100-foot tall pine timber, will keep you captivated as you navigate rolling hills through rooty and pine needle conditioned trails. Enjoy a post race refreshing swim in the 64-acre spring-fed lake while you rest and recover. As home to the forest race in our eco series, you won’t want to miss this unique chance to run with deer through the deep piney wood forests of Eastern Texas. This is a 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k, and 100k. Wind through deep green pine forests on rooty single track while chasing deer and other wildlife. Enjoy the dizzying and majestic pine canopy above as you are shaded on your adventure. Register at ultraexpeditions.com/the-piney-woods-ultra.

September 29th – ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk features a 5K run/walk, 1 mile walk, Kids’ Superhero Dash for Dad, and virtual Snooze for Dudes program. ZERO is proud to partner with Urology Tyler, PA to end prostate cancer. Stick around for the family-friendly post-race celebration. Run/walk participants will receive tech shirts, free food and prizes, and the opportunity to connect with others who are impacted by prostate cancer. To register, go to support.zerocancer.org.

October 13th – 2018 Corkscrew Half will be held at Kiepersol Winery, 21508 Merlot Ln., in Tyler. Register by e-mailing itri365meredith@gmail.com.

December 2nd – 2018 Tyler Half Marathon & 5K – This event will give athletes a tour unlike any other through the Rose City of Tyler, Texas. The event will start and finish from TB Butler Fountain Square in the center of downtown Tyler, Texas. More information can be found at tylerhalf.events and be sure to follow The Tyler Half Marathon & 5K on facebook.com/events/1565352873583566/.

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