COLUMBIA — Runners of all ages came out Saturday morning for the Smokin’ Chick’s BBQ 5K Race/Walk to help support the William Woods University cross country and track teams.
The fourth annual race drew 125 runners and helped raised at least $2,000.
Matthew Laye finished first for the second year in a row with a time of 15 minutes, 58 seconds. The first woman to finish was Kristina Sherry with a time of 20:16. She finished 15th overall.
Before the 5K, there were two children’s races including the 150-meter Tot Trot for kids under 7 and the One Mile Run for ages 8 and up.
“The beauty of this sport is you can do it when you are youthful and even when you are older,” race coordinator Jamie Moreno said.
Moreno, former head coach of the William Woods cross country and track teams, helped host and organize the event.
Tom Roe drove from Salisbury to enjoy a morning of running and to help support the teams. Roe brought along his 6-year-old grandson, Micheal Sloan, who finished fourth in the Tot Trot.
“It’s all for a good cause,” Roe said. “You get a T-shirt and maybe a door prize, but it’s not just about getting something in return, it’s about helping people out. Plus you get out and stay healthy.”
Roe said he believes that events like this race are good for children because they help teach them life lessons and build good character values like sportsmanship.
Moreno added that these running events are a good way to get people together and exercise.
“Anytime there is a race, me and Papa (Roe) are going to go, and I like running with him,” Micheal said.
Thirteen-year-old Collin Crosswhite from Columbia just got into running and already enjoys it enough to run in a race.
“I signed up for track at my school, and I just started to like running a lot,” Crosswhite said. He added that he may run in a few more races soon.
Crosswhite finished 50th overall and third in his age division.
Moreno received donations from several businesses to help put on the event and raise money for the teams.
“I appreciate all the support from the sponsors and all my helpers and the people that have come out to support us, and it all goes to a good cause and helps out our program,” Moreno said.