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Up and Running


Lace up those running shoes, Atlanta! A new training program overseen by a Leader aims to help the Hispanic population in the ATL become more physically active through running.

Tina Klein is teaming up with local retailer Big Peach Running Company to offer 5K training programs this spring at three of its locations. Certified running coaches will spend eight weeks with trainees, helping them build up to a 3.1 mile distance while also bringing in sports nutritionists to offer guidance on eating healthy and sports physicians to share tips on avoiding injuries.

One of the three locations also will feature a bilingual training program, specifically designed to recruit members of the Hispanic and Latino community.

 “As a Latina, I’ve realized that the Latino population is growing in numbers as well as in girth,” Klein tells the Inside Track via email. “The goal is to help this population become a healthier community.”

Hispanics have 21 percent higher obesity rates compared with whites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lack of opportunities and safe locations to be physically active is one of the reasons for this discrepancy, the CDC says.

Klein is aiming to change those statistics, one kilometer at a time. She recently launched the company Balanced Running LLC to develop training programs that will help improve the quality of people’s lives through running. Klein is aiming to eventually launch a new nonprofit, Vamos Running Vamos Moving, which will work to help Latinos become more physically active.

The venture is not Klein’s first rodeo, or rather, race. An active member of Atlanta’s running community, Klein heads community outreach for the Atlanta Track Club and is actively working to reduce childhood obesity in the city. For example, astute Inside Track readers will recall our feature on the Kilometer Kids Club, which Klein created to help young people develop a lifelong love of running.

For her new venture, Klein says she was inspired by the work that the organization Black Girls Run is doing to help members of the African-American community, another group facing higher obesity rates compared to the rest of the population, become physically fit. She believes there’s a similar opportunity to reach out to Hispanics and create real change, she says.

“Collectively, Latinos have enough economic, cultural and political weight to create important shifts,” Klein says. “We can help turn that tide through being advocates for health and getting them onto the right track by providing organized running/walking activities and learning opportunities for their health.”

Click here to connect with Tina Klein.