By Lynette Carrington
People of all ages are invited to join in on the fun and fitness and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 3 TV Phoenix 10K & Half Marathon on Sunday, November 1. Formerly known as the New Times 10K, the now 3TV Phoenix 10K offers several events that start and end at CityScape in Downtown Phoenix. Take on the Half Marathon with a special Couples Division, or hit the 5K, 10K, or the Mollen Mile designed for children 12 and under. The Phoenix 10K is an Arizona tradition and has been selected by USA Track and Field to be the state championship race for the 10K distance. Race proceeds benefit the Mollen Foundation, dedicated to preventing childhood obesity.
Dr. Art Mollen, D.O. has been a fixture on the Valley's health scene for decades. He is an osteopathic family physician and locally and nationally recognized as a health, fitness and preventive medicine expert. Mollen has been an avid runner since he was in medical school. "One of the main things when I was in medical school was they always talked about treating various diseases and I was always more motivated by preventing diseases," Mollen explains. "I said well, ‘Running seems to be a way to do that.' When you're in school, running is a good stress release. You sleep better, you eat better and you focus on your general preventative health. That was for sure one motivation."
Back during a time where there were not many marathons, Mollen's decision to found the 10K & Half Marathon was a healthy move. "Back then, I was practicing medicine with my patients and again saw the benefits I was having on a personal note from running-sleeping, digestion, stress level, cholesterol and blood pressure-everything was just so much more balanced," Mollen says. "I began to prosthelytize that message to my patients so my patients started running. I would meet them at 6 o'clock in the morning close to my offices and I would take them for a two or three mile run." Mollen would monitor his patients' vital signs and also began seeing positive changes in his patients that were participating in the small group morning runs.
The running group grew to a whopping 400 people and Mollen made the decision to found the Arizona Marathon Society. His love for running coupled with the positive health benefits he and his patients were experiences then eventually led him to founding the iconic 10K & Half Marathon in 1976.The first year's marathon welcome 1500 runners. This year, the event is expecting 10,000 runners! "It's the 40th year and a lot of other things have fallen in to place. The Phoenix Suns are involved and that's just within the last couple of weeks that we got that endorsement," Mollen states. "They'll have some of their people involved. We'll also have a shoe drive where people can donate shoes and those will be given out to homeless shelters and various groups throughout the Valley. If someone donates shoes, they'll get a raffle ticket for various prizes that the Phoenix Suns will be giving away."
Register now for 3 TV Phoenix 10K & Half Marathon: www.phoenix10k.com/2015_Registration
“The success of the race has nothing to do with me at all. It has to do with the people who have volunteered to put on the race. Harvey Zeller has been my executive race director for 35 years,” Mollen explains. “That’s pretty remarkable! And the runners in the community have really embraced us.”
Mollen estimates that at least 1,000 of his own patients have run in the 10K & Half Marathon since 1976. “I’ve had patients who are 90 years old and have participated in the run and I’ve had kids as young and six and seven years old that have participated,” he finishes.
With a few months to go until the big race day, there is still plenty of time to train and get ready. Visit www.phoenix10k.com for information and a full schedule.
About the Mollen Foundation
The Mollen Foundation empowers, encourages and motivates children to live active and healthy lifestyles. The experienced medical and educational professionals at the Foundation have partnered with key community leaders and youth educators to give parents and school- aged children "hands-on" tools to succeed in attaining their lifestyle changes. The Mollen Foundation’s goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle in children that includes fitness, nutrition and self esteem through exercise programs and nutritional education. Located at 16100 N 71st St # 100, Scottsdale, AZ. Call (480) 656-0016 or visit www.mollenfoundation.org