Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.|
Laura Split-log and Nathan Hall sprint to the finish during the Brooke Hill Run in Decatur on Saturday morning. Split-log and Hall were part of a record 305 runners to compete in the event.
Perfect weather, good attendance for Brooke Hill Run
A night of much-needed rain gave way to cloudy skies and a cool breeze as the third annual Brooke Hill Run set a new attendance record Saturday morning.
Organizers registered 305 runners for the event, which benefits the fight against ovarian cancer. Organizers said almost $5,000 was raised.
In the 5K run, twins Nathan Lewis and Nick Lewis, 16, from Hanceville finished in first and second. Nathan finished in 17 minutes, 15 seconds, while Nick crossed the line at 17:30.
“It was so neat watching those two run,” race coordinator Jon Elmore said. “They were cheering each other on the whole way. If one was in front, he’d yell at the one behind to come on.”
Thomas Vinton, 15, of Decatur won the 1-mile run in 5:26.
In the end, winning the race was important, but the cause was the true winner.
Those were the sentiments of Paige Norris, a race coordinators and sister of Brooke, who died in November of 2004 of ovarian cancer. She said her sister wanted to have such an event to raise funds. After Brooke’s death, Paige and their mother, Juanita Healy, wanted to find a way to make her wish come true.
“Brooke and her husband, Rodney, visited our church one day (Westminister Presbyterian),” Elmore said. “I didn’t know her very well, but I knew she was going through a lot.
“One of our church members, Kim Mitchell, was on the Carnegie (Visual Arts Center) board with Brooke, and after she died Kim approached me. She knew I ran a lot, and that I was a member of the River City Runners. I spoke with the River City Runners about using their equipment and asked if anybody else would like to get involved. I received a very positive response, and that’s how we got to where we are today.”
Of the 305 who registered, 291 finished. Last year, 203 finished. Elmore said 291 of 305 is a good percentage of people finishing a run.
Elmore also spoke about a man who set an unofficial record. Loyd Doering, 79, of Huntsville set a new 1-mile age division record with his time of 8:45. Doering bested the old mark by more than 15 seconds.
“I knew we had to be close to a record number of people signing up because of all the things we were running out of,” Norris said. “We were even pulling out last year’s boxes of shirts. There’s no doubt this was our best run ever. The weather was absolutely great for us. It didn’t even really get hot until after the race.
“I just want to thank everybody for all their support.”
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