updated 4/18/2007 2:14:15 PM ET 2007-04-18T18:14:15

As he campaigned in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee hit the ground the running.

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The former Arkansas governor started his day with a 5K “fun run” with supporters in downtown Manchester. Huckabee said his goal was twofold: sticking to his personal fitness routine and calling attention to the nation’s health care crisis.

After being diagnosed with diabetes and losing more than 110 pounds, Huckabee focused on children’s obesity during his term as governor and pushed for regular screenings of the body mass of school children. Huckabee is including health care issues as the cornerstone of his campaign and frequently urges audiences to take control of their own health.

“Everybody can do something,” Huckabee said.

Huckabee, who also did a 12-mile run in Manchester last summer, said he much prefers running in New England during the summer. But he wasn’t too disappointed that a knee injury kept him from competing in Monday’s Boston Marathon, which coincided with a drenching nor’easter.

“It was probably the first time I was glad not to be running,” he said. “Maybe next year.”

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