Healthy Parks Healthy People Ride and Run for Heart Health is this weekend
David Clapp knows the value of regular exercise for a healthy heart. After aortic valve replacement surgery at Cape Cod Hospital in 2019, the Brewster man completed the Cardiac Rehabilitation program in Hyannis and continues to go three times a week.
“My surgery was pretty invasive, and it took me a long time to sort of walk and breathe at the same time, so rehab was difficult for me in the beginning,” he said. “But I felt better and better and I could see the improvements on a weekly basis. I treat it like my gym now.”
Clapp and his wife, Frances, will be taking part in this weekend’s Healthy Parks Healthy People (HPHP) Ride and Run for Heart Health at Nauset Regional High School, to support the Cape Cod Healthcare Cardiac Rehabilitation program and the Cape Cod National Seashore.
The event features both running and cycling as a way to stay fit. This year’s event will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at the school on Cable Road in North Eastham.
Participants can run or walk a 5K or 5-mile course, or ride a virtual 10- or 35-mile course. Special children’s fun runs and a 1-mile run/walk challenge are also part of the event.
The event highlights the positive impact regular exercise has on our bodies, said Cardiologist Elissa Thompson, MD, who has offices in Hyannis and Chatham.
“There is no end to the benefits of exercise in terms of improving your overall health,” she said. “Your cardiovascular health, your blood pressure, your blood sugar and your mood all improve!
“More important, there is not a more beautiful place to exercise on Cape Cod than the National Seashore. The Healthy Parks Healthy People 5K is a great way to experience the beauty that park has to offer.”
The race can be seen as either a personal goal, a team challenge or a fun way to participate in a family-friendly weekend activity.
Following the race, participants and supporters are encouraged to gather at the high school for an after-event party complete with awards and a food truck offering healthy foods that feature a variety of locally-sourced ingredients. There will also be an opportunity to meet with dietetic professionals at the Hub for Health, who will be offering blood pressure checks, nutrition tips and advice on how to incorporate locally-sourced food into your diet.
Frances “Fran” Clapp will be power walking on the 5-mile course and David Clapp, who has been bothered by a sore hip recently, will either take part in the 5K walk or be a cheerleader for Fran and the other participants.
Fran received a medal at the 2019 after-race event, which was a welcome surprise, she said.
“When they called my name, you could have blown me over with a feather,” she said. “I came home with a medal my very first race.”
Registration for the HPHP Ride and Run for a Healthy Heart is free for ages 6 and under fun runs. For the adult events, the fees range from $10 to $30. Proceeds will benefit the Cape Cod Healthcare Cardiac Rehabilitation Program and Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Participants can register through 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17. For more information, visit www.runreg.com/healthy-parks-healthy-people.
Image: Frances Clapp