By Amy Blaisdell

In the effort to improve community health and well-being, knowledge is the key. The City of Palm Springs is working to help its residents make strides towards a healthier lifestyle with its annual Mayor’s Race, Swim and Wellness Festival taking place January 11, 2013 at Ruth Hardy Park, bringing experts and local resources together to help the community.

“This event brings together the best examples for health, fitness and wellness to help families learn how to be more active, eat better and change the tide in the epidemic of childhood obesity,” says Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet. Everyone is encouraged to participate with a 1K fun run for kids, 5K (starting at 8:30am) and 10-Mile (starting at 8:00am) runs for adults and a new swim component taking place in the afternoon with various swimming events. “We want to show the variety of options that are easily accessible right here in our community,” continues Pougnet.

The morning will include actress, performer, television personality and acclaimed bestselling health and wellness author Suzanne Somers (I’m Too Young For This!) and Tai Chi sensation Scott Cole, along with activities on stage like Bollywood-inspired Doonya, POP-Pilates with Cassie Ho and Tae Bo, presented by its well-known creator Billy Blanks.

The Wellness Festival opens at 7:30am and features over 60 vendors who will offer free health screening, blood sugar tests, wellness information, nutritional samples and free activities such as rock climbing from Rent This Rock, a new addition for 2014.
Also new this year is the 1pm Swim Challenge at the Palm Springs Swim Center. The Palm Springs Piranha swim team will host the event. The Piranhas are a 40-year-old organization that offers water polo as well as swim lessons for children and adults.

January 11, 2014 – Schedule of Events

Ruth Hardy Park – Mayor’s Race and Wellness Festival
700 Tamarisk Ln, Palm Springs, CA 92262

6:00am – Runner Packet Pick Up and On Site Race Registration Opens
7:30am – Wellness Festival Opens
8:00am – 10-Mile Race Begins
8:30am – 5K Race Begins
9:30am – Kids 1K Fun Run
11:30am – Wellness Festival Closes
Palm Springs Swim Center – Swim Clinic and Races
405 S. Pavilion Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
1pm – Free Swim Clinic
2:30pm – Timed Swim Events Begin

The Mayor’s Race, Swim and Wellness Festival is a City of Palm Springs program created to raise awareness on the connection between sustainability and wellness and to reduce childhood obesity, which has become a health crisis pandemic across the United States. Registration for the Mayor’s Race is available now through or on