An unseasonably warm but cloudy Levi Jackson State Park played host to over 30 runners exercising to support an elementary school field trip on Saturday, Jan. 3.
The third annual “Run for the Hills” 5K was hosted by Hunter Hills Elementary on Saturday at 10 a.m. to benefit the school's fifth grade field trip to Wash- ington D.C. Registered runners paid up to $25 to run the rolling hills and scenic forestry of Levi Jackson State Park and work up a sweat in the process.
Fifth graders at Hunter Hills are able to go to Washington D.C. free of charge during Spring Break because of these runners. The students are able to spend three to four days in the nation's capital taking in the sights, sounds and overall experience without a financial worry.
According to Andrea Broyles, assistant principal at Hunter Hills, the event held Saturday brought out better numbers than usual due to near-perfect weather conditions.
“This wasn't as good as our inaugural run, but we're happy with it,” said Broyles. “Two weeks ago, they were calling for 30 degree weather and it's a beautiful day. It's a great day to run.”
While the event did not bring out a record amount of runners, Broyles added that the event grows in sponsorship every year.
“It's gotten to the point that sponsors will actually contact us to see if we're having our run,” said Broyles. “We have a spon- sor this year all the way from Virginia.”
Broyles was joined on Satur- day by principal Brian Bond as well as teachers Ryan Flynn and Christopher Shouse, who help coordinate the annual field trip.
David Hays, 34, has run in the “Run for the Hills” 5K for the past three years, placing first in the 2015 event with a time of 18 minutes and 20 seconds.
“It's a hilly course but a fun race,” said Hays after winning. “My goal was to get under 18 minutes, but that's close enough.”
Hays was followed by Jontai McQueen, 32, Jarrett Foster, 35, Zachary Brooks, 17, and Danny Barnes, 51.
Ashleigh Hale, 12, a North Laurel Middle School student, placed first in the women's divi- sion with an overall time of 25 minutes and five seconds.
“This isn't my first 5K but my first 'Run for the Hills' 5K,” said Hale after finishing. “My goal was to finish below 25:42, which I did.”
Hale was followed by Libby Barnes, 48, Christina Sears, 37, Brenda Bowden, 54, and Traci Maxey, 48.
For more information on this and next year's “Run for the Hills” 5K, contact assistant principal Andrea Broyles or principal Brian Bond at Hunter Hills by calling 606-528-1384.