By Justin Jones, Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 —
With the three words “Ready, set, go!” the first Stanly Regional Medical Center Stanly HealthWave 5K began Saturday morning.
The event, which also featured a one-mile fun-run, brought runners from throughout Stanly County and beyond.
“This is only the second 5K we’ve ran,” Emily Slagle said of she and her husband, Jacob, of Mt. Pleasant.
“We’re trying to get into it more.”
While Jacob admitted that this race through Albemarle was hilly, he enjoyed the race and plans to continue staying involved because of the benefits running has had on his life.
“Well the thing about it is, when I started running about a year and a half ago, running has actually helped me mentally, physically and emotionally,” he said.
“It’s helped all aspects of my way of life, my relationships and how I perform at work,” Jacob said.
Those reasons fall in line with what Stanly Regional wanted to accomplish by having their first 5K and fun run.
“Our focus on this event was give back to the community and focus on wellness,” Tara Ludwig, the HealthWave 5K event coordinator, said.
“So by doing that, obviously we wanted to get the community members up and running and active, and then work together with local charities to make sure we give back to the community as well.”
The way Ludwig and Stanly Regional assured the race would be a community event was that each registration fee, $15 for the 5K race and $10 for the mile run, would be given back to a charity of their choice.
With the race fees going out to help others, the race itself was a chance for runners to help themselves.
“At the hospital here we strive to serve people that are sick and people that are well,” Ludwig said.
“So we want to get these people up and active and just bring them together and show them and explain to them that wellness is very important to us here at Stanly Regional.”
In all, 183 runners completed the 5K, with 15-year-old Reid Huckabee taking first place, fending off 43-year-old Joseph Korzelius, who finished second, five seconds behind Huckabee’s time of 19:24.
Like many others, Jennifer Passino, a physical therapist at Stanly Regional, wasn’t in the race to claim first place, but was running to be a part of the wellness initiative.
“You got to do it for your health. It’s the only way you’re going to feel good. Helps you age better,” she said.
And after she crossed the finish line, although tired, she was pleased despite the challenges.
“Albemarle’s hilly, so it’s tough, but it’s a whole lot easier when there’s a whole lot of people out here with you doing it.”