San Antonians itching to get outside and connect with their neighborhoods Sunday are encouraged to participate in Síclovía, the city’s largest health and wellness event.
Each spring and fall, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio hosts Síclovía to engage the local community in a day of physical activity that also connects participants to their surroundings in downtown San Antonio. This year’s route reverts to the original one from the first Síclovía, along Broadway Street from Parland Place to McCullough Avenue.
Síclovía will begin Sunday at 8 a.m. – rain or shine – with a 5K Run and Walk on Broadway Street, starting at the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, located at 2809 Broadway St. Roads will remain closed to traffic from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. so community members can participate in group exercises and health and wellness activities presented by local organizations.
“We open up about three miles of downtown San Antonio streets for families and individuals to come out and ride their bikes, skateboard, rollerblade, walk their dogs… and just really get to know their neighborhood, community, and local businesses,” YMCA Mission Advancement Communications Director Stephanie Jerger told the Rivard Report.
Tickets for the 5K Run and Walk cost $25 for adults and $10 for youth under 14 years old, and can be purchased until Sept. 24. Tickets can be bought for $30 starting at 6 a.m. the day of the event. Awards will be presented to the top two male and female runners in each age group and top male and female overall and masters winners.
All other Síclovía activities throughout the day are free. Four stopping points along Broadway Street, from Mahncke Park to McCullough Avenue, will provide 20-minute classes ranging from yoga to hip hop dance, while various organizations such as the San Antonio Parks & Recreation department and the Alzheimer’s Association will provide their own activities.
The free, biannual event – which hosted 72,000 people in the spring – began in 2011 through funding provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program. The initiative “supported 50 communities working to reduce obesity and tobacco use – two top preventable causes of death and disability in the United States,” according to the program’s website.
After a successful debut, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio took ownership of the program from the City, and partnered with Metropolitan Health District, H-E-B, San Antonio B-Cycle, and other local vendors to continue the program.
According to a statistic presented by YMCA officials last spring, 55.7% of participants in last September’s Síclovía reported that they increased their physical activity levels after attending the event.
“It’s an event that promotes being outdoors, improving your health, experiencing your city, and getting to know your neighbors,” Jerger said. “And when else can you bike and walk in the middle of your street?”
Top image: Tricycles await their princesses on Broadway Street during Síclovía 2013. Photo by Iris Dimmick.