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Jingle Jog Promotes Healthy Living While Raising Money

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LAWTON, Okla_A record number of runners took advantage of Saturday's annual 5-K Jingle Jog in hopes of shedding some holiday weight.

Each year the 5-K and 1 mile walk serve as a fundraiser for the Cameron University Cross Country team. The proceeds help fund everything from new equipment to road trips throughout the season, while giving the community an opportunity to get in shape.

It is so easy to pack on those frustrating holiday pounds during a time when so many delicious foods are usually abundant. Cameron students say between Thanksgiving and then Christmas and of course the New Year, it is the perfect time to remind people to not let their health fall to the wayside.

After the horn blared, the joggers were off and running, doing something Cameron University Cross Country coach, Casey Kreger has done and promoted nearly all his life.

Kreger said, "It's not just a thing for a fundraiser, it's also to promote health and running because I love running, so to see other people do it that are new to it, it's rewarding."

Kreger, a Cameron University graduate, said over the past several years he has watched running grow in popularity, even in Lawton. As an avid runner he knows the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

Kreger explained, "It's huge to incorporate running into your lifestyle. Not just with how fast you're running or anything like that, just come out here, be healthy, be in a more positive environment."

 Saturday's 1st place winner, Brandon Purdeu, is also no stranger to the sport.

 

"I just, I love running. So I run 6-7 days a week, and usually I run ultra-marathon types of events, " said Purdeu.

Ultra marathons span across two days requiring participants to run over 100 miles. It is a feat that is not easy, but one that Purdeu lives for.

 

Purdeu said, "It's the ultimate challenge. It starts off with a 5K, then a 10K and then a half marathon and you just kind of keep wondering how far can I take this?"

Today he finished at his personal best, just under 18 minutes. But Purdeu said while he enjoys pushing himself to the brink, it is not necessary to stay in shape. He said a simple short walk or jog can do anyone, athlete or not, a world of good.

 

Purdeu explained, "Any sort of physical exercise to start your day makes you happier throughout the day, it makes you more productive, it relieves stress, it gives you other goals in your life besides your career. For me it's 'me time'. I just walk out the door and have my time that I can think about my day and my goals. It's good to be active, it's good to be outside."

Purdeu said before a run, remember to eat. He said vegetables and limited processed foods are a part of his daily diet.

This was the 6th year for the Jingle Jog fundraiser. Its popularity has grown every year, and participation nearly doubled from this year to last.

 

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