Hill District health weekend open to all

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For a good reason, part of Centre Avenue will be closed to traffic in the Hill District for four hours next Saturday morning. The area of Centre between Freedom Corner and Ewart Drive will instead be open between 7:30 and 11:30 a.m. to people participating in the Uphill 5K Walk/Run Race.

The race is one of the biggest events of the Health and Wellness Weekend Friday through Sept. 15 being held in the Hill District by state Rep. Jake Wheatley Jr., D-Hill District, for the general public, not just his constituents.

Other events include free exercise during the day and an opening evening reception at the Thelma Lovette YMCA on Friday.

Among the activities following the race at next Saturday's Community Appreciation Day at Kennard Field are live entertainment from the African-American Institute of Music jazz band and a job fair featuring 10 employers offering jobs.

On Sept. 15 at the Thelma Lovette Y there will be a Health Expo with health screenings, fitness class orientations and healthy cooking demonstrations.

"This is not only for people on the Hill, it's for people from Greater Pittsburgh," said Kyle Stewart, executive assistant for Mr. Wheatley. "It's not just for Afro-Americans. Everyone is invited. ... Our boundaries aren't just District 19. We've invited everyone to run and come to events. Enjoy the Hill District and the things we can pass out."

Except for the 5K walk/run, everything being held during the Health and Wellness Weekend is free.

The race costs $15 per resident of the Hill and $25 for everyone else.

The Friday night reception at the YMCA is free but limited to those who have received invitations.

"This is an event and weekend to try to improve everyone's lives," Mr. Stewart said.

"We want to have the event be a stepping stone. People will learn how to change their lifestyle and have it be a healthy one. ... Next year people can give their results; tell stories: 'I'm a better, healthier human being; I have a job now.' "

Registration for the 5K race is open. Hard-copy registration can be sent to Mr. Wheatley's office at 2015-2017 Centre Ave., first floor, Pittsburgh 15219 or mailed to the post office box listed on the registration.

Interested runners and walkers can also register online at www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=2100279.

Signups will also be held right before the 9 a.m. Saturday race between 8-8:45 a.m. at Freedom Corner.

lifestyle - health

Pohla Smith: psmith@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1228.


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