Monday, September 27 2021

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Marathon Man at 11

For 11-year-old Matthew Rielly, the Cherry Creek Fitness Challenge (CCFC) is the inspiration he was looking for during his summer break. As a way to keep kids active and motivated, the CCFC is encouraging students to complete a marathon -- through combined activities -- this summer.

In an effort to complete a minimum 26.2 miles, students and families record every mile of activity they finish during the 100 day period. Participants in the challenge will be recognized at the First American State Bank Fitness Festival on September 12th in Crescent Park. The Festival, a 501 c3 organization, includes the Kaiser Permanente 5K walk/run, a 1-mile fitness walk, entertainment, food from top notch restaurants (Great Northern, Il Fornaio, Tonyapostrophes Meats, and Morton’s, The Steakhouse, DTC), and lots of family fun. This year’s Grand Marshal is Gold Crown Foundation CEO and former Denver Nugget, Bill Hanzlik.

Matthew, an athlete and advanced skier, has participated in the Fitness Festival for the past four years and has won his age category in the Kaiser Permanente 5K run. “He loves to see results and that’s why the challenge and the Festival are great for him,apostrophe says his mother, Susan.

Taking on the challenge with gusto, this sixth grader has set a personal goal to “achieve as many marathons as possible this summer.apostrophe Within the first week of the challenge, he had already completed a ½ marathon by playing soccer, baseball and swimming. Add to that his completion of the Boulder Bolder (10K) in May and he’s well on his way to logging the requisite 26.2 miles – all before summer break is half over!

For this motivated 11-year-old, the September 12th Fitness Festival is the icing on the cake that marks the end of summer, the accumulation of his goal – completing as many marathons as possible – and his entry into middle school.

The Festival raises funds for the community asset project, a non-for-profit and partner of the Cherry Creek School District. CAP emphasizes building healthy skills/attributes in kids like exercise and nutrition, which in turn build responsible adults. During the past eight years, the Festival has raised and donated in excess of $500,000 to CAP. For information or to register for the First American State Bank Fitness Festival, visit or pick up Greenwood Athletic Club’s magazine, titled The Pulse.