By Brian Nicholson, GOAL Foundation
November 4, 2015 – After several years of talking and planning and collaborating, the GOAL Fitness Trail finally came to life in front of a large crowd gathered at the ribbon-cutting event Wednesday. Community leaders, donors, sponsors and residents gathered to experience the result of a partnership between, GOAL Foundation, Intermountain Health Care and R.A.M.P., along with many others.
Jeff Furton, one of the first to come up with the idea, said it was one of the ways for the GOAL Foundation to further it’s mission to encourage people to be active in the community, apart from the marathon. “It was a project to benefit members of the community who may or may not be marathon runners,” he said.
Furton’s background is in football and lifting weights to work out. Then he took up running, but felt his running could be supplemented by doing a more full body work out. “With this fitness course in place, you wouldn’t look so goofy doing pushups on the side of the trail. There are now allocated spots for that, and many other things,” he said.
The course is just over a half mile in length and has nine different stations to help with core strength, upper body, arm and leg strength, sprinting, and several others. Stations one and nine are for warming up, and cooling down. Each station has instructions and are designed for the most novice to the most advanced athletes, so anyone can try them out.
The GOAL Foundation Youth Program Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator, CT Taylor is excited about the possibilities for the Young Runners Program.
“It really has a lot of potential to bring our young runners and their families together for events they might not otherwise be able to have,” she said. “We have been able to help kids in our Young Runners program but now we have a venue to benefit their parents as well.”
Both Furton and CT envision events to offer healthy breakfasts and activities on Saturday mornings, bringing kids and their parents together to enjoy the fitness trail and the wonderful outdoors surrounding it. “It will be a wonderful time to introduce parents to GOAL and encourage them to get out and live,” she said.
The project was made possible after several organizations were able to join forces with funding, design and installation. Jeremy Holt, who worked for McKay Dee Hospital at the time, said the idea had been in the works for years, but it wasn’t until an unexpected grant from Intermountain Health Care came available that the ball really started rolling.
“After IHC said they would help fund up to ¼ of the project, that’s when we really had to decide if we wanted to move forward with it,” he said. Once we had IHC on board, we had to get the approval of the (GOAL) board. They were tentative at first but approved the plan and we went to work.”
The next grant to come in was from R.A.M.P. (Recreation, Arts, Museums and Parks), an organization to distribute funds to benefit the community. “Once the RAMP grant came in, the next thing we knew, there was a fitness course,” said Holt.