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Walkers gathered at a new walking path for the first official WalkPHX walk on Wednesday. (KTAR photo/Bob McClay)
PHOENIX -- It was noisy at Maryvale park this morning. Students from Atkinson Middle School checked out a new walking path during the first official WalkPHX walk.

The Maryvale enhanced walking path has signs and mileage markers to tell you how far you've gone. The path is 0.4 miles. If you walk it two and a half times, you've walked a mile.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, were on hand for the opening. Olympic swimming gold medalist Misty Hyman, who is from Phoenix and is a spokeswoman for the FitPHX campaign, was also there. FitPHX is a movement to make Phoenix the healthiest city in the country.

Valenzuela said that there are walking paths all over the city that are similar to the one in Maryvale.

"We have 8 different locations," said Valenzuela. "They can all be found at www.phoenix.gov/fitphx. All of them have markers around the track that let people know how far they've been walking. It really is meant to encourage people to get their exercise in."

Hyman said that the paths are a great way to keep in shape.

"WalkPHX gives people of all ages an opportunity to come and be healthy," she said. "You really don't have to train like an Olympian to be fit and healthy, and be successful in everything else that you do."

Valenzuela said that you can get your exercise on the paths, even when summer comes and the weather gets hot.

"We want to encourage people to come out in the early morning and the evening to avoid the summer heat, but get the exercise in," said Valenzuela.

The paths were made possible by a $25,000 grant from Coca-Cola.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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