Weekly downtown run promotes active lifestyle, social atmosphere

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Meet Me Downtown Phoenix is a casual weekly 3.3-mile walk or run that is encouraging Valley residents to get active.

The events are free every Monday night, and runners and walkers of all ages are invited to participate in the activity. The running route hits downtown hot spots including Heritage Park, the Arizona Science Center, the Arizona Center, Arizona State University's downtown campus, Roosevelt Row, Hance Park and Civic Space Park.

The run starts at 5:15 p.m. every Monday on the corner of CityScape at Central and Jefferson. 

Incentives for participating include raffles with prizes like T-shirts and hats. Participants also get a hand stamp that qualifies them for discounts at participating restaurants along the route. There is live music and Zumba at the parks along the run.

The weekly event is an initiative from Phoenix vice Mayor Daniel Valenzuela. Valenzuela heads the downtown committee and wants to expose people to a healthy lifestyle in the core of the city.

"This is about one's health," Valenzuela said. "But it's also about the health of the community. It's about supporting local businesses and artists and one another."

Valenzuela says that nearly 4,000 people have participated in Meet Me Downtown in the first 19 weeks.

"There's no reason why we can't be the healthiest city that we can be," he said.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is sponsoring the event with partners including Downtown Phoenix Inc., CityScape, The Corner Restaurant, Sole Sports Running Zone and Phoenix Parks Foundation.

Interested runners can sign up at Cityscape before the event or online. Route maps are available.

For more information, visit phoenix.gov/fitphx or meetmedowntownphx.com.

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