The Heart & Sole 5K RunWalk presented by Jefferson Regional Medical Center to benefit the Junior League of Pine Bluff took place near the corner of 40th Avenue and Mulberry Street on Saturday morning.
Local participants, young and old, participated in the event throughout the brisk, cool morning. There were two races including the actual 5K course and a Kiddie K race in which youngsters ages 12 and under participated. Along with the races, there were balloon animals and face painting. The event even had some special guests including the mayor of Pine Bluff, Debe Hollingsworth, and Billy Coble of 104.5 “K-Train” radio.
Development coordinator of the race Ann Weatherford was extremely happy with the turnout.
“I think it was awesome,” Weatherford said of the event. “We had beautiful weather and were so blessed with a great day. We had some great runners and it was really competitive. The atmosphere was so competitive. We had great support as everybody stood at the finish line and cheered. It was just an awesome day.”
The 5K had over 100 participants, including both adults and kids. The winner of the 5K event was Joey Gieringer (18 minutes, 37 seconds), the second-place finisher was David Wolfe (22:18), and the third-place participant was Bill Witt (24:08). The first female to cross the finish line was Cymber Gieringer (24:12).
The rest of the winners were broken down by age groups for male and female. Age group winners were: 19-under, Randy Harris and Vanessa Nicholos; 20-29, Wolfe and Racheal Davis; 30-39, Michael Kline and Emily McElroy; 40-49, Tad Thornton and Mickey Nail; 50-65, Witt and Dedy Duncan; and 65-older, Havis Case and Mary Bearden.
The Kiddie K race also separated their participants by age groups. Winners were: 5-under, Jude Roberts and Italy King; 6-9, Luke Roberts and Hannah Blue; 10-12, Charlie King and Marissa Owen.
Weatherford said that despite a really good turnout, she knows they can always get more people to sign up and participate.
“I think we had a fantastic turnout considering the date we chose,” she said. “There was a youth hunt and The Color Run 5K in Little Rock, and that really conflicted with us. There was also a regional track meet, so we lost hundreds of people just due to the date. So probably we would just choose a better date next year. Other than that … it was a blast.”