The Stokes Family YMCA held its 17th Annual King of the Hill 5K and 10K race on Saturday, experiencing a boast in the number of runners from last year.
According to Tiffany Boyles, engagement director, 107 runners competed in the race. It also featured a fun run and obstacle course.
This year’s race was the first time it has been certified by USA Track and Field. Boyles explained by being a certified race, it allows more competitive runners to count the YMCA race towards their ability to qualify for larger races such as the Boston Marathon.
“We’re very proud that we got both events certified; it adds a level of stature,” Boyles said.
The race raised funds for the Live Stronger initiative at the YMCA, which benefits cancer survivors. Boyles explained all of the revenue raised from the event stays at the King location, rather than being distributed to the YMCA organization as a whole.
Following the race, over 90 medals were distributed across the various brackets, with Eli Riggs, 15, placing first for the 5K race and Erik Martin, 22, placing first for the 10K race.
Sheetz in King provided fruit, subs, and water for the award ceremony, which was held in the gym at the YMCA.
“We have a great support system from our local business sponsors in the community,” Boyles said.
During the race, the King Police Department and the King Fire Department secured all intersections along the route until the last of the runners passed through.
The Piedmont Cheering Hearts, a group of retired women, cheered runners on as they crossed the finish line for both the 5K and 10K.
“They really offered something special for our event,” Boyles said.
As for individuals who are uncertain if they would be able to attempt either a 5K or 10K race, Boyles cited a man who is legally blind and completed the race with his brother, having come to the YMCA nearly everyday to train leading up to the event. Boyles also said some people simply decided to walk the course instead of running it.
“We take pride in this event, it supports healthy living and brings our community together,” Boyles said. “We encourage everyone to try it. We have a very good time.”
As for next year’s race, Boyles said that the staff at the YMCA are busy at work nailing down a date and details for the 18th annual race.
Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.