Last weekend placed an emphasis on how the morning stroll celebrates both the young and young at heart.
Recent Rockmart High School graduate Brock Shanks was the overall winner of the 3.1-mile trek on the Silver Comet Trail while 13-year-old Lauren Hooper was the first female to finish.
“I haven’t run as much as I did when I was still in school, but it was OK,” said Shanks, who was a standout on both the Jackets cross country and track teams. “This is just an easy place to run because you don’t have to worry about traffic at all.”
Shanks finished with a time of 18:01 while Hooper, who lives in Rome, came in ninth overall with a time of 21:15 in her second Homespun 5K.
“I feel like I did better this year,” Hooper said. “I like winning but it’s just fun.”
Male Masters champion Bill Moore took second overall, coming in at 18:21, while Michelle Penny took the Female Masters title with a time of 22:41.
Crossview Community Church organized the race for the second year in a row with the proceeds going toward their efforts to renovate the old Goodyear Elementary School on Piedmont Avenue into the church’s permanent home.
“This year’s turnout was better than last year’s and we hope that next year turns out even better,” said Katie Meadows, who helped organize the event.
“It’s been exciting. There is a lot of stress to put it together but seeing it pulled off is exciting and encouraging.”
The group also held a one-mile “fun run” for children and a “tot trot” for some of the smallest athletes.
But one of the most inspiring moments came near the end of the 5K when 82-year-old Rockmart resident Ann Wilson completed the course.
Wilson, who had walked down the stretch, picked up speed and ran across finish line to the sound of cheers and applause. She paused for a moment and took a small bow.
“I just like doing it,” said Wilson, who had family and friends congratulating her after the race. “It keeps me young and I have a lot of support from a lot of people.”