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New Shake Your Shape Run and Walk coming to Tacoma’s Wright Park

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on Sep. 6, 2012 at 8:00 am with No Comments »
September 6, 2012 8:00 am

Here is an announcement from the organizers of Tacoma’s newest run, the Shake Your Shape Run and Walk. The first event is scheduled for Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. at Wright Park.

Healthy Communities of Pierce County (HCPC) hosts its first annual Shake Your Shape walk and run at Wright Park in Tacoma, Wash. Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. PT.

“It’s important to help those who don’t normally lead physically active lives to get out there, feel comfortable and have a great time with others in the community,” says Dr. Monica Dixon of Healthy Communities of Pierce County. “For many, it’s that first step out the door that’s the most difficult, and we want to make that a fun and memorable time, so that our community continues to be active.”

Individuals of all sizes, shapes, ages and fitness levels are invited to celebrate at the event by walking and running the two scenic, flat miles around the park’s course. Lisa Czerniejewski, who knows first-hand what it’s like to be morbidly obese, inspired the event.

“People like me need to know that they too can be fit and enjoy life with no barriers,” says Czerniejewski. “People of size encounter barriers everywhere we turn and it is so intimidating and dejecting. To have an event that is for us is overwhelming. We participate in Shake Your Shape with no fear, no apprehension, and no feelings of self-consciousness.”

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 5 p.m. PT, the Asia Pacific Cultural Center will host a pre-event, including registration and packet pick-up, health screenings, a selection of fitness demos that can be done by those of all shapes and sizes, and guest speaker, Ben Davis.

Davis will share his inspiring story of overcoming obesity and depression at age 22 by finding a drive and passion to run. Davis found inspiration from his grandmother who sparked a mission to find happiness through health and fitness.

“My grandmother simply asked if I was happy with my life. And for the first time in a long time, I realized I wasn’t. And I decided to do something about it,” says Davis. “I promised her I would find that happiness that she was asking about.”

Davis started small with jogging, stretching, and healthy eating. Today, he has run seven marathons, competed in two Ironman events and won dozens of medals. He maintains a blog where he discusses the importance of health, fitness and happiness in life.

“The story I tell is one of the power of community–the idea that when we’re active and, more importantly, active together, great things can happen,” adds Davis. “Shake Your Shape is going to be a prime example of this idea and I can’t wait to be part of it. “

“Healthy Communities of Pierce County has impacted the health of our community in many ways, through helping to increase the availability of healthy food and physical activity options,” adds Dixon. “Our goal is always to help make our community a healthier and happier place to live.”

“My dream is that the work being done makes it into the schools and that children and young people learn that they have hope for a life as an active and fit person,” says Czerniejewski. “When they realize for the first time that obesity is not a life sentence, it is phenomenally empowering.”

Registration, which includes a t-shirt, vendor giveaways, health screenings, and a special partner participation award, costs $20 for each participant. Proceeds from Shake Your Shape will be donated to Healthy Communities of Pierce County. Participants may register at

Shake Your Shape is sponsored in partnership with Tacoma Farmers Markets, Healthy Communities of Pierce County, Metro Parks Tacoma, ACHIEVE, Asia Pacific Cultural Center, The YMCA, and MultiCare.

View Ben Davis’ story on YouTube at For more information about Shake Your Shape, visit


Healthy Communities of Pierce County leads efforts to promote healthy lifestyles for the residents of Pierce County including regular physical activity and healthy nutrition, the key to prevention and control of obesity, chronic disease, and other health problems. Healthy Communities supports environmental solutions, institutional and government policies and practices, as well as community activities and partnerships to build and sustain healthy lifestyles and communities


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