Named after the hospital’s mascot, Eddy, the 1K run/walk is aimed at promoting the health benefits of regular exercise to children

The World Health Organization is sounding the alarm: there’s a childhood physical inactivity crisis occurring around the world, putting kids at greater risk for developing chronic diseases at an earlier age. Regular physical activity has been proven to help children and adolescents improve their overall cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

But only about one-third of children and adolescents globally are sufficiently physically active, according to a study by the World Health Organization. Making matters worse, more than 90% of health experts surveyed reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on children’s sedentary behaviors, participation in organized sports and overall physical activity. In the United States, only 24% of children 6 to 17 participate in 60 minutes of physical activity daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 should spend 60 minutes or more doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activities, such as brisk walking, biking, swimming or dancing, according to The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To promote the importance of exercise and the long-term health benefits of being physically active to children in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas Health System Children’s will host its first-ever Eddy’s Safari Run on Saturday, March 4, at the hospital’s main campus in Edinburg.

Open to the entire community, the 1K race – named in honor of the hospital’s mascot, Eddy – will give the opportunity to take a walk (or run) on the wild side by demonstrating their physical fitness.

“It’s important to encourage young children to put down their tablets and game controllers and get moving. By encouraging kids to be physically active, we can help prevent health conditions like obesity and diabetes and lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle as they grow older,” says Tom Castaneda, System Director of Marketing and Public Relations, South Texas Health System. “Beyond providing medical care to the littlest of patients in our community, South Texas Health System Children’s is committed to helping promote healthy living, and this year’s Eddy’s Safari Run is great opportunity to do that!”

In addition to the 1K race, the event will include a special expo highlighting community resources available to children and parents related to health and wellness.

Online registration is open now through March 2, with a discounted rate of $15 for early registration before February 17. Additional discounts are available for teams of 10 or more. The cost of registration includes a t-shirt and participation medal, with all proceeds benefiting a local charity. Parents are welcome to run/walk with their children and may purchase a T-shirt during the registration process.

For complete race details and to register, visit For more information, contact our Eddy’s Safari Run coordinator Kassandra Rodriguez at 956-388-2020 or [email protected]

Who: South Texas Health System Children’s

What: Eddy’s Safari Run

When: Saturday, March 4 at 8:00 a.m.

Where: South Texas Health System Children’s Main Parking Lot, 1102 W. Trenton Rd., Edinburg, TX 78539

Eddy's Safari Run Flyer

About South Texas Health System

South Texas Health System is a multi-facility healthcare system serving patients throughout the Rio Grande Valley. The system includes four acute care facility campuses with specialties in pediatrics, heart and vascular services, maternity and women’s health and trauma services. Inpatient and outpatient treatment for behavioral health needs and addictive disorders is also provided through the system’s South Texas Health System Behavioral facility. South Texas Health System is affiliated with the South Texas Clinical Partners ACO, Prominence Health Plan, and Cornerstone Regional Hospital. The system operates an advanced Level I Trauma Center at South Texas Health System McAllen, the first and only freestanding children’s facility and pediatric ER at South Texas Health System Children’s, the region’s only freestanding heart hospital and specialized cardiac ER at South Texas Health System Heart, and six freestanding emergency rooms located in and around Weslaco, Mission, Edinburg, McAllen and Alamo. For more information about the system and its comprehensive services, please visit