HeartChase exercises mind, body for heart health awareness

The second annual HeartChase at Emporia State University on Saturday saw an explosion in the number of teams involved.

Thirty teams participated, up from 10 last year.

American Heart Association state HeartChase director Erica Valerio says people talked up the competition after being involved last year.

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The Newman Medical Partners team of Lori Hernandez, Odalis Hernandez and Allen and Alex Luthi took first place. Lori Hernandez says she participated for several reasons.

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Odalis Hernandez, her daughter, says it was a fun competition -- although it was tough as well.

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Alex Luthi is already gearing up for HeartChase 2015.

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Also competing was Ashley Brooks as part of a team of family members named Catch Us if You Can.

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Valerio says the games may have been fun, but the mission was serious. Heart disease is America's top killer, so Valerio says it's important to raise awareness -- and it's important people take heed and change their health habits if necessary.

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