MATTHEWS – Over 100 runners and walkers took part in a 5K race and a 10-mile fun run/walk June 21 at Plantation Estates, raising almost $14,000 for Alzheimer’s disease awareness.
Runners from their teens to their late 80s participated in the races. About half the field in both events consisted of Plantation Estates residents.
The event was called “The Longest Day” as the race was held on June 21, the longest day of the year.
“From those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, it is the day that they don’t understand when it begins and when it ends,” said Plantation Estates Director of Wellness Theresa Perry. “This is the day that we fight for those who are in darkness. There is really no knowledge when you have Alzheimer’s disease of when it is morning and when it is night. We are fighting to bring more awareness to the Alzheimer’s Association.”
Plantation Estates resident Bob Hamrin, 84, put in many miles preparing for the race. Hamrin mixed up his training with longer runs along with some speed training. He worked out on a treadmill when the weather was not conducive to running outside.
“I think it is running for spirit,” Hamrin said. “We are just out running to show that we can still do things and maybe encourage other people.’’
Hamrin said his goal was to finish the race with a respectable time and enjoy his time on the course with his fellow residents.
“I’m not trying hard to set a personal record, you just can’t do it when you are older,” Hamrin said. “Your personal records are back when you were 40. But, I think I will make it.”
Hamrin did, in fact, finish the race, crossing the finish line with a time of 46 minutes, 26 seconds.
Brenneman Thompson, of Charlotte, clocked the fastest time among the 5K’s 83 runners, logging a time of 24:05.
Organizers plan on holding the event annually. Matthews Mayor Paul Bailey threw his support behind the race.
“Thanks for doing this in Matthews,” Bailey told runners and volunteers at the event. “This is a great event for Alzheimer’s awareness. This is a great event for a great cause. Hopefully, this will grow bigger and bigger every year.”