A nice breeze blew across the marsh as racers lined up for the first annual Sunbury 5K yesterday morning.
According to race organizer Patrick Boyle, they had around 115 runners pre-registered and many more were registering on site. He thinks the numbers will be about 150 runners for the first time event.
Proceeds from the race will benefit two local organizations.
Part of the funds will kick start the 2011 Team Liberty Kiss-A-Pig Campaign benefitting the American Diabetes Association. The other portion will go to the Wounded Warriors Project.
Team Liberty’s 2011 KAP candidate, Joel Osteen and his wife Stephanie Brown Osteen, were among the participants.
"I think it’s great that we are getting a jump start," Osteen said about helping next year’s KAP Campaign. "It’s a great event and I’m glad we are able to do something that will benefit the American Diabetes Association and the Wounded Warriors Project."
Osteen said he and his wife have been running at least twice a week to prepare for the race.
"This is a great event to support diabetes because exercise is good for diabetics." Stephanie Osteen said.
Racers lined up at the starting line and sped off when the horn sounded, sending the runners and walkers through scenic Sunbury and around Fort Morris State Historic Site.While some of the participants were merely there to enjoy the day, scenery and exercising, a few of the runners in the front of the pack were racing for prizes.
Others were racing to raise awareness.
Dressed in bright yellow T-shirts the entire staff of Darsey Black and Associates, a mental health agency in Hinesville, joined the race to promote total health.
"We live in coastal Georgia in Colonel’s Island, Dr. (Tommy) Black and I do, and we are all avid runners, Dr. Will Darsey said. "We wanted to come out here to support the fundraiser, but also to promote health and wellness. Mental health and physical health go hand in hand and we just wanted to make sure we promote that philosophy while helping two good causes."
After the race, several participants dined at the Sunbury Crab Co. and made it a day-long event as the race dwindled down and the Sunbury Blue Crab Feast and Festival heated up with food and live music by the Midway All-Stars and The River.