events by Laura Wellford on June 01, 2016

Lars Spring Into Summer 2016 5k

Early on the 21st of May, LARS Staff, volunteers, sponsors and racers gathered at McCullough Field to prepare for LARS’ 2nd Annual Spring into Summer 5K & Family Fun Walk. Although the wind and rain was relentless, the race took place just as scheduled!

111 people registered to run the 5K or walk the 1 mile with around 50 of those registered braved the pouring rain to participate in the day’s events. 44-year-old Gregg Ford of Elkridge took first place with a time of 20:19.44.

The flour and chalk typically used to mark critical turns on the 5K route were quickly washed away by the rain this year, but luckily we had plenty of volunteers on hand to lead the way for runners. This 5K course is used by LARS for both the Spring into Summer 5K and the Turkey Trot, and is certified by the USA Track & Field.

The course, which runs through the neighborhoods of Old Towne Laurel and includes part of the Riverwalk, was originally mapped out by Jacqueline Jones of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church for their Emancipation Day 5K for Diabetes.

Jackie has recently been working with the City of Laurel to make the 3.1 mile loop Laurel’s “official” 5K route. The city has approved her request and will soon be putting up permanent signage to mark the course for future running events and to encourage residents to stay active throughout the year. Mark your calendars now for St. Mark’s 4th Annual Emancipation Day 5K on Sept. 3, 2016 and LARS’ 12th Annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 24, 2016!

Angelica Christian, LARS’ Volunteer Coordinator, ensured that the event was supported by dedicated volunteer support. “Preparation for the Race begins in early March identifying where volunteers are needed and then recruiting individuals who expressed interest in volunteering for the event.”

Volunteers helped setting up and tearing down tables and decorations, registering individuals for the Race, distributing sponsor information and t-shirts, handing out water bottles and refreshments to race participants, cheering on and directing race participants along the course, and taking pictures of the event to share on LARS’ social media.

Though the rain could have put a damper on the Race, the volunteers who signed up for the event, showed up with a poncho, smile, and helping hand. One positive aspect that stood out about volunteer participation was everyone’s vibrant and contagious energy.

In a recent survey conducted on the race participants, an overwhelming amount indicated that the volunteers were the highlight of the Race. Overall, I think the race was a great success and testimony to the tremendous amount of support the Laurel community has for LARS and each other.

Practice the course between events and see if you can beat your time by registering for Laurel’s spring, fall, and winter races – all for great causes! Thanks to all the staff, sponsors, volunteers and racers who made this event possible!

Proceeds from LARS’ 5K events benefit the organization’s work to end homelessness and hunger in the Laurel community. St. Mark’s event supports the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Laura Wellford June 01, 2016