The Arkansas-Pine Bluff athletic department, in conjunction with the Mid-South Fitness Association, hosted the Golden Lion 5K Run/Walk for Fitness Saturday morning at Golden Lion Stadium.
Daniel Chekwa won the open division, with Dwight Preston second and John Proctor third.
Other winners included (in order of finish):
• 12-under: Christina Scott and Promise Moore
• 13-17: Alexis Howell
• 60-older: Nathaniel Grant, Mineva Dickson and David Holt
• Walk: Betsy Kahn, Vivian Flowers and Sadie Hughes
With over 70 participants taking part in the event, the focus of the 5K Walk/Run was to promote a community-wide mindset of getting and staying physically fit as well as healthy eating.
“We’re trying to eradicate obesity. It’s a challenge but we’re going to do it”, stated Larry Westmoreland, the president of the Mid-South Fitness Association and the catalyst behind starting the Golden Lion 5K. “We’re going to do this every year. We will start promoting next year’s event on Monday so it’s going to be a 12-month cycle of trying to eat right and have a better quality of life.”
The course was outlined by starting at the football stadium to L.A. “Prexy” Davis Drive and then a left on Pullen Street, winding back on L.A. “Prexy” Davis Drive to end back at the football stadium. At the finish line, runners were met by cheers of fellow runners who already completed the run/walk with a big “FINISH” sign. Members of the UAPB ROTC were also a part of the event as they journeyed from the course in unison with their flag.
UAPB athletic director Lonza Hardy Jr. teamed with Westmoreland to make this event a success.
“Locally, Roger Totten who is our strength and conditioning coach, held free lessons in Little Rock with the Mid-South Fitness Association. Our plan is to periodically have fitness lessons here in Pine Bluff so that we can raise awareness in the community”, Hardy said.
With this being the first time the event was held, no one involved with the 5K believes that this is a one-and-done campaign.
“There’s some talks about us looking at doing it once a semester, but we have not made a decision on that, but it will be at least once per year”, Hardy said.
A presentation of awards took place after all participants completed the course.
First-year UAPB chancellor Laurence B. Alexander received a Chancellor’s Cup, Hardy was awarded a Director’s Cup and UAPB head football coach Monte Coleman was presented the Champion’s Cup.