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Heartbeat 5K a good fit
Photos and Story by James Hill
A partnership between Portland Community College and the American Heart Association will help benefit youth fitness in the Portland area.
The Heartbeat 5K Run/Walk is set for Saturday, April 7 at the Sylvania Campus. It is open to runners and walkers of all skill levels. There will be an 8:30 a.m. check-in for racers in the HT Building with the race starting at 10 a.m. Pre-registration (before March 30) is $15 per racer. Registration after March 30 is $20. Children 12 and under get in free. Parking is also free. There will be prizes for runners finishing first, second and third.
One of the Heartbeat 5K’s volunteers, Anna Jaworksa is from Poland. The 25-year-old Wroclaw native is a Fitness Technology student at the Sylvania Campus. She will help sign-in runners and walkers as well as provide assistance along the route. In 2005, she came to Portland after graduating with her master’s degree from a university in Poland.
After hanging around the area attending Polish festivals and enjoying the city’s culture, she wanted to get back to school and study public administration. But she noticed she had gained weight since her arrival to Oregon and decided to work out. That led to her enrolling in the Fitness Technology program at the Sylvania Campus.
“I decided I wanted to help people,” Jaworksa said. “Fitness is great and I can find a job all over the U.S. or the world. I may even set up my own business. I want to make money and do something I really, really love.”
The Fit Tech program is a nice fit for many who enroll into it. It is designed to match coursework with practical experience at fitness facilities in the community, showing students the right exercises, nutrition and how to match fitness programs to all kinds of people. Graduates are eligible to take national personal trainer or fitness instructor certification exams.
For Anna, who stays in shape by dancing, doing pilates, or attending kickboxing classes, she says the program is a good fit.
“The teachers are there to really take care of you,” she said. “In Poland the teacher comes to give a lecture and then leaves. At community colleges, they are so student-orientated. I’m getting a lot of practical knowledge. I feel like I’m doing something I can use.”
And locals can use the Heartbeat 5K. The event will feature a fitness fair that will have chair massages, gait analysis, healthy snacks, beverages, fitness screenings, family activities, prizes and goodie bags. Students and staff from the PCC Fitness Technology program will provide the fitness assessments and a pre- and post-race stretching session.
Money raised from the event will go to the American Heart Association to help support educational programs in local elementary schools. The programs help combat childhood obesity and the early onset of heart disease as well as Type 2 diabetes. In addition, the money to the PCC Foundation will support scholarships for internships with the American Heart Association for Fitness Technology students.
“The Heartbeat 5K is during the spring time so get out into the sunny weather and do something for a good cause,” Jaworksa added.
For more information, call 503-977-4215, or visit the the Heartbeat 5K Web site.