MCHD Activities Team serves as starters for Double Tunnel Vision 5K 05.04.24

May 4, 2024

MCHD Activities Team serves as starters for Double Tunnel Vision 5K

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department’s Activities Team used its cannon this very foggy morning to start the Double Tunnel Vision 5K race sponsored by the Lions Club of Mobile.

The course featured participants running from one end of the Bankhead Tunnel to the other entrance and then returning back. Members of the Activities Team also followed the runners in MCHD golf carts to carry a first aid kit. Proceeds from the Double Tunnel Vision 5K will benefit the sight programs of the Lions Club of Mobile. To learn more about this project, please visit www.lionsclubofmobile.org.

In 2016, an initiative called “MCHD Declares War on Physical Inactivity” began. Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, then serving as Health Officer for Mobile County, pointed out that Alabama has one of the highest obesity percentages in America.

In an effort to encourage residents to go outside and enjoy our beautiful surroundings while exercising, Dr. Eichold arranged to borrow a Civil War re-enactment cannon to serve as the “starting gun” for the Azalea Trail Run that year. The response was so positive that Dr. Eichold acquired funds to purchase our own weapon to battle obesity, and the “Cannon Team” was formed.

MCHD has participated in a variety of outreach events over the years. Now, in a move to better describe its mission, the unit has changed its name to the “Activities Team.”

Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, who assumed the position of Health Officer in 2022, has continued supporting the Activities Team’s mission. He participates in community events and encourages residents to go outside and enjoy our beautiful surroundings while exercising.

The Lyle Line-Throwing Cannon, which has a 2.5-inch-diameter barrel, was manufactured by Coston in the early 1900s. It is not a replica, reproduction, or toy. The cannon was designed to fire a projectile attached to a rope to a boat or a victim in distress. Now, it is used to inspire those seeking a healthier lifestyle and just getting outside to enjoy our wonderful surroundings.

Derrick Scott supervises a team of MCHD employees that has been trained to safely use the device. Taking part on Saturday were LaJoya Todd (who fired the cannon), Edward Franklin, Erika Goodwin, Tracey Hall, Eddie Jones, Gwen Jones, Roxanne Lee, and Patricia Suggs.

Any other groups interested in having the MCHD Activities Team attend their event should contact the Communications Office by calling 251-690-8823 or via email at mbryant@mchd.org.

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