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Updated May 15, 2014 - 9:06 am

Phoenix opens first of eight WalkPHX paths

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.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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