Combat the fat

Catina Topasch leaps into the air during a conditioning workout at the Activity and Recreation Center's gym during the Happy New U fitness event Thursday. Topasch was leading a Body Combat workout routine to a group of more than 150 people, including Mayor Darwin Hindman.

Now breathe and relax ....

Kenny Greene leads a large group in a tai chi lesson Thursday at the Activity and Recreation Center during "Happy New U."

Christine Jeon

“One (resolution) is to get into a good college. Another is to finish ‘Dr. Zhivago,’ ‘The Godfather’ and Stephen King’s collection. And I hopefully want to get a boyfriend before a year finishes.” — Christine Jeon of Singapore, 19

Larry Simonson

“I’m calling it ‘100 new things.’ For 2009, I can’t buy more than 100 new items. Necessities don’t count, but it does include gifts.” — Larry Simonson, 28

Paul Xiong

“I want my career and table tennis playing to go the next level. I also want to spend more time at the ARC and help more people play table tennis.” — Paul Xiong, 43

David Tye

“I want to get a place to live with a roof over my head.” — David Tye, 43

Jessie Linneman, 24

“I have a baby due in July, so I would like to spend more time learning how to cook.” —  Jessie Linneman, 24

Jim Schauwecker, 52

“We had a great 2008, so I hope to keep it the same.” — Jim Schauwecker, 52

Jeff Wegs of Moberly

“I hope to quit smoking, get a new job, have better control of my finances and do more hunting.” — Jeff Wegs of Moberly

Andrew Del-Colle

Andrew Del-Colle writes a regular opinion column for the Missourian.

Teletubbies greet racers

From left to right, Nate Smith, Sam Budzyna, Nicole Mello, Pat Hanson, Daisy Smith and Matt Dreier stop for a photo after the First Night 5K on Wednesday. Dreier finished first and Mello was the first woman to cross the finish line in the annual race through Columbia.

First female to finish

Nicole Mello, 13, was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 18 minutes 20 seconds in the First Night 5k on Wednesday.

First across the finish line

Matt Dreier finishes first in the First Night 5K with a time of 16 minutes 37 seconds.

Teletubbies on wheels

Dressed in Teletubbie outfits Nate Smith, left, and Daisy Smith ride a tandem bicycle as they lead the pack of runners to the finish line next to CyclExtreme on Fourth Street during the First Night 5K on Wednesday.

Taking off

Runners take off at the start of the First Night 5k on Wednesday. The runners started at Flat Branch Park and followed a route that led them to Mizzou Arena then back to CyclExtreme on Fourth Street.

Runners ready

Runners wait for the start of the First Night 5k near Flat Branch Park.

A first 5K for First Night

Graham Geyer, 8, stretches in Flat Branch Park on Wednesday before the start of hte First Night 5K. Geyer, who is a third grader at Rock Bridge Elementary School was running in his first 5k.

Puppets at First Night

Peter Allen of the Parasol Puppets Team performs the story "George and the Dragon" on New Year's Eve as part of the First Night celebration at the Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia.

Dancing with stars

Eben Misho, 7, Chloe Midkif, 5, and Simon Midkiff, 9, dance around the stars near the Boone County Courthouse following the fireworks show for First Night on Wednesday.

Fireworks light up night

Fireworks launch off the Roger B. Wilson County Government Building in downtown Columbia on Dec. 31 as part of First Night celebrations.