Oneonta Heart Run & Walk adds 5K race

ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Oneonta played host to the American Heart Association's Heart Run and Walk on Saturday, but this year, organizers unveiled a new addition, one they hope will grow to be much bigger.

Runners hit the streets for a 5-K race. SUNY Oneonta Athletic Director Tacey Ranieri says it's an event she hopes will catch on.

She said, "there's so many avid people and committed people to this event and they just really wanted to be able to run outside, so we're just offering it to the people who want to be fit and that is what the event is all about, learning how to exercize for lifetime wellness and reduction of heart disease."

Just like many simlar events, those who participate have a personal connection. New York Central Mutual Insurace Company is a keep sponsor of the event, and C.E.O. Dan Robinson took part on Saturday. She said, "well, I'm a heart survivor myself, so five years ago i had a heart attack, so you can't do enough to help people through this whole thing, and so it's a great cause, everyone is involved in it, it's a great thing."

Kelly Taverone's son Connor had heart surgery when he was much younger. She said, "the surgery he had, they said it probably wasn't possible 30 years ago because they didn't have the technology to take care of that kind of stuff and they do now, so his life is so much better because of the research from the money from the American Heart Association."

Bassett Healthcare was onhand to provide free heart screengs. Director of cardiology patient services, Sharon Kinch-Mead says peopel really need to know their levels, whether it's cholesterol or blood pressure and she saysevents like this really change people's lifestyles.

She said, "no matter what you do, just get out there and do something, if it's a 15 minute walk, it's better than doing nothing, just get out and move and do what you can do, you don't have to exercize in a gym for half hour a day , get out and walk."

Oneonta's Heart Run and Walk is actually a satellite event of America's Greatest Heart Run and Walk here in Utica. Tracey Ranieri says she hopes to see the 5K grow, just lke Utica's event grew from scratch many years ago, "well, it's interesting that the Greatest Heart Run and Walk in Utica started with six runners and supporting an event in the local community, so we're hoping to just add it."