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August 25, 2001 - Fitness Fest Finishes in First Place

What: First American State Bank Fitness Festival

Where: Westlands Park, Greenwood Village

When: August 25, 2001

Beneficiary: First American State Bank Fitness Festival supports the Cherry Creek Schools and Community Asset Project

Mistress of Ceremonies: Janet Elway and Anita Lopez

EMCEE: Steve Krum, Greenwood Athletic Club

Presenting Sponsor(s): First American State Bank

Founders: Kristina and Jay Davidson

Buffet by: Del Frisco's, Einstein Bagels, Il Fornaio, Jackson's Sports Grill, Morton's, Nantucket Nectors, Outback Steakhouse, Strings, Tony's Meats, Tosh's Too, Udi the Sandwich Man, Wellshire Inn, Yia Yia's

Sponsors: Vierra Family Foundation, AT&T, Great Western Life, Dick and Roselyn Saunders, Drs. Ron Yaros and Norm Dyer, Bob and Judi Newman, First Union Securities, Petroleum Place, Greenwood Athletic Club, The Metropolitan Club, Clear Channel, 9NEWS, The Villager

Attendance: 500

 Kelli Gilchrist, left, and Bekki Ash were among early finishers in the First American State Bank Fitness Festival
Kelli Gilchrist, left, and Bekki Ash were among early finishers in the First American State Bank Fitness Festival

By Blacktie Staff

They came, they ran, they dined.

An estimated 500 Greenwood Villagers turned out on a gray Saturday morning for the first FASB Fitness Festival, a fund-raiser for Cherry Creek Schools and the Community Asset Project.

But this was no ordinary 5K run. As they crossed the finish line in front of First American State Bank, runners were surrounded by more than a dozen food booths serving delicious, gourmet, nutritious fare that included fruit juice, shish-kabob,tenderloin sandwiches, salmon, gazpacho and ice cream (served with strawberries, thus catapulting it into the "terribly healthy" category).

The theme of the day was fitness, and the area restaurants who donated their food and staffs won rave reviews from the hungry crowd.

The festival's inaugural run looked bleak shortly before the 7:30 a.m. start. "I woke up to thunder this morning, and I can't ever remember that happening in Colorado," said one of the race participants.

But the mist burned off, rain never materialized, and by 10 a.m. race time, the cool weather was perfect for a 5K.

Before the race, participants did warm-up excercises under the direction of Greewood Athletic Club instructors. Kickboxing, aerobics and strength training experts got the crowd revved up for the run.

The festival is the brainchild of First American State Bank owners Jay and Kristina Davidson.

They chose the Community Action Project as beneficiary of race proceeds because of its mission: healthy families.

"By promoting healthy activities, kids are less likely to engage in high-risk behavior," said Robin Thorsen, president of CAP.

Added Kristina Davidson: "By that we mean alcohol abuse, drug abuse and violence. These are the three big ones CAP focuses on." Restaurants dishing out the food at the festival included Del Frisco's, Einstein Brothers Bagels, Il Fornaios, Epicurean Catering, Jackson's Sports Grill, Morton's of Chicago, Nantucket Nector, Outback Steakhouse, Pure Colorado, Strings, Tony's Meats and Specialty Markets, Tosh's Too, Udi the Sandwich Man, Wellshire Inn and Yia Yia's. The first-time event is a fun, clever fund-raiser that is sure to thrive in years ahead.

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