Carol and Cal Whewell of Bryan, Ohio, made a special visit to Owensboro on Saturday to participate in the 5th Annual Care Net Reindeer Run presented by Patriot Getaways.
The couple is on a quest to complete a 5K race in all fifty states. This event is their 11th race as part of their journey. The pair of runners, who were recognized during the awards ceremony, said they chose this particular race to represent the state of Kentucky for a reason.
“When we look for a race in a particular state, we are searching for an event that has a good cause. When we found the Reindeer Run, we thought this looked like a really good cause,” said Cal.
According to this year’s Reindeer Run registration, nearly 500 other runners and walkers thought the exact same thing.
“We had a total of 498 registrations this year, 31 of them were Reindeer Dash runners. Just today, there were 69 that registered,” said the event coordinator, Lisa Merritt.
Even though last-minute racecourse changes were made this week due to road work, event coordinators felt the event was even more successful than in previous years.
“Turn out was good and the weather was great. Personally, my favorite part was the Reindeer Dash. I think it was a hit with the little runners and enjoyed by everyone,” Merritt said.
All funds raised through this event go back to the community. According to Merritt, Care Net helps to provide free services to those who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy and need encouragement, hope, or help to care for their baby. Services are also available for those who have concerns about a sexually transmitted disease and need answers or solutions.
“Every year this event grows in number and more people are made aware of Care Net services,” Merritt said.
Care Net Student Event Coordinator Jaclyn Hagan said without the numerous sponsors and volunteers, it would be impossible to put on a race this size. Local businesses donated the snacks, drinks and nearly all the door prizes, and many volunteers from within the community, including local high school students, were present along the course route.
“We had so many people who came out and gave of their time and energy to help make this event a success. This community is what makes the Reindeer Run a unique event; it was such a blast,” Hagan said.
The overall firs finisher was Sydney Settle with a time of 17:27.56. The first male finisher was John Pitonyak with a time of 18.10.70. Full race results can be found here.