Many avid runners, young families, and students came out to Campbell University’s Irwin Belk Track, Nov. 10, for the Harnett County Partnership for Children 5k run.
The race, organized by HCPC Outreach Coordinator, Amy Hoyes, consisted of a 5k for the adults and a fun run for local children.
For the first time, the organization partnered with Kids on the Run, a group of Harnett County children and volunteers who meet on Tuesdays at Campbell’s track. HCPC staff chose to host a 5k because it would be a great family-friendly activity.
“[Staff members] thought it would be a great way to utilize the First 2000 Days campaign as a way to build awareness and support for early education in Harnett County,” Hoyes said. “There are only 2,000 days between the time a baby is born and when that child shows up for the first day of kindergarten.”
Twenty-four members of Campbell’s track and field team volunteered to help with Saturday’s fun run and 5k.
Mariah Collins and Nadia Natt, members of the track and field team, directed children around the loops during the fun run, while others ran along as run marshals and safety patrol.
Prior to the 5k, HCPC staff members provided the runners with food and water.
Five minutes till 10, approximately 75 runners took their places behind the start line.
Runners included Campbell students, young children, and even some mothers pushing their children in strollers. The top three male and female finishers of the 5k received medals and prizes. All participants of the fun run received ribbons.
According to staff member, Linda Turlington, Zaxby’s donated food for the runners to eat after the race.
Proceeds from the event go to several Harnett County programs that support child growth and education.
“All proceeds will support programs funded by HCPC that are designed to improve the quality of child care, make child care more affordable and accessible, provide access to health services and offer family support,” said Hoyes.
Through Thanksgiving, Harnett County Partnership for Children will be holding a food drive to support Harnett Food Pantry. The organization is always looking for volunteers to promote or support its mission.
If you would like more information or to become involved, visit www.harnettsmartstart.org
By Catherine Adroin
Photos by Catherine Adroin