COLUMBIA — A 5K run/walk kicked off Columbia’s First Night celebration at 4 p.m. Wednesday, starting at Flat Branch Park and finishing at CyclExtreme. The race had 256 runners of all ages, according to race organizers.
Matt Dreier, 33, was the male winner with a time of 16:37. Nicole Mello, 13, was the female winner with a time of 18:20. Both had participated in the event before.
For some, the race was purely about being outside and getting some exercise. Kelly Smith, 32, ran the 5k for a second straight year.
“It keeps me motivated to have things to work towards,” Smith said. And then added with a laugh, “It also helps burn off some holiday calories.”