Weekly Obsession: Getting in shape with Karl

Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 9:05pm

The second term is always a good time to push bold new initiatives that may not have been palatable the first go-around with re-election looming.

With a second four-year stint secured, Mayor Karl Dean is escalating his plan to get Nashvillians moving.

What he asked of us during his first term was easy: 

“Ride the bus with me!” “Walk around the city!”

Pieces of transportation cake.

Now, Hizzoner wants us to run. As if he hasn’t asked enough of us already.

Saturday, Dean kicked off training sessions for the Mayor’s Challenge 5K. Over the next two months, the mayor’s office will offer “free, professional 5K training at numerous sites” throughout the city.

The 5K — and its predecessor, the Walk 100 Miles initiative — is part of “NashVitality,” a broad effort funded via a $7.5 million federal stimulus grant to fight obesity.

There’s a website — mayorschallenge5k.com — to sign up teams, upload a logo and the whole deal. The site is noticeably silent on where exactly the run will be — let’s hope it’s somewhere flat and not, say, up the hills at Warner Park.

Baby steps, Mr. Mayor.

Nothing wrong with this project, of course. Nashville — despite being named the nation’s Manliest City (chosen by a junk food company, of course) — struggles with high rates of obesity and heart disease and all those other things that regular exercise can combat. 

The question here is where will the mayor take us next? We went from riding alongside him to walking with him to running in just four years. 

Once he’s got us all in shape for the distance run, where can he go? A 60-mile bike ride? Two-mile swim? 

At this rate, Music City will be rife with triathletes by the time Coach Karl gets done with us.  

Filed under: City News

3 Comments on this post:

By: shinestx on 9/12/11 at 7:44

"Federal Stimulus"??? Say what??? Multiply this program by (let's see... how many cities???)... 150, and you're talking about real money. This is the problem! To the feds, this is just a "throwaway" billion. Why couldn't that money be spent underwriting mass transit in about a dozen midsize cities like Nashville? No doubt, that alone would get more people walking.

Just when I think I can't be any more amazed at the incompetence of Rep. Jim Cooper, something like this proves to me that he is just a rubber stamping back-bencher. Leaning on his undeserved reputation for being a "fiscal conservative" in a spendthrift party, he gets the throwaway programs but nothing for something useful. How long have you been waiting for you much-needed federal courthouse, Nashville? I believe that's 18 years and counting.

By: BigPapa on 9/12/11 at 8:05

Boy howdy Im sure glad our tax money is being used for such important things. Training people to run a 5k!! Seriously???????

By: wataboutbob on 9/12/11 at 8:56

right pappy, isn't "stimulus" money suppose to be used to stimulate the economy? provide jobs? help the needy? rebuild infrastructure?

These grants are paid for by our tax dollars and using them to professionally train marathon runners is a joke, but then so is Dean.