Livingston County Health Center and Hedrick Medical Center have announced a Labor Day 2K Fun Walk and 5K Competitive Race on Monday, Sept. 3, at Simpson Park.

The event is part of the Walk Chillicothe Project, funded in part by Healthy Partnerships, a partnership of the Heartland Foundation, Heartland Health and North Kansas City Hospital.

The race begins at 7:30 a.m. in Simpson Park, with registration open at 7 a.m. Participants can pre-register now online at, or pick up a form at the health center, located at 800 Adam Drive. There is no charge to enter the race. Those who pre-register before Aug. 22 are guaranteed a free T-shirt, as funding allows. T-shirts will also be given to those who register after that date, as supplies allow.

Walk Chillicothe and the sponsors of the race would like to encourage kids, adults, families, handicapped residents, and well-behaved dogs on a leash to join in the Labor Day Race. Just-for-fun prizes will be awarded in the Fun Walk, and for those who wish to compete in the 5K Run, medals will be awarded in various classes.

Walk Chillicothe has planned a year-long timeline of carefully planned events to create a continuous stream of awareness and opportunity for local residents to start the habit of walking, said health scenter spokeswoman Ann (Hoppe) Burchett. The project hopes to appeal to a large audience, since walking is a type of exercise most people can safely and inexpensively do to stay active.

"Events like the Labor Day Race target a varied audience from children to seniors to pet owners to families, in order to plant the seed that walking is possible for everyone and offer an easy solution for sedentary people to take the first step to active living," Burchett said.

Getting people walking will also help build support for use of existing walking routes to improve physical health and quality of life. Walk Chillicothe is an initial step in the ultimate goal of creating more walkable areas in Chillicothe for all county residents to use. The project has been working with the City of Chillicothe and Main Street Chillicothe on a community-wide plan to improve the streets and sidewalks of Chillicothe to encourage more residents and visitors to practice active living through walking.