What a great sense of community was present at Monday's Second Annual Dream to be Able ML5K!
The run benefiting Extra Special People drew more than 200 registered runners, with an additional 30 or so kids and adults participating in a 1-mile fun run. As the signature event of the Athens MLK Jr. Day of Service, the run was hosted by HandsOn Northeast Georgia, which organized community service opportunities all over the area on Monday.
But one of the most amazing things about this event was the way people came together.
Some folks came out for the afternoon run after having already completed two similar races early in the day. Others said it was their fourth race (!) of the long weekend. Volunteers were made up of parents, siblings, students, and people with a general desire to pitch in for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
Dexter Weaver, legendary proprietor of Weaver D's Delicious Fine Foods, was gracious as always while we took over his parking lot for about five hours to register runners, gather participants, cheer people to the finish, and hand out awards. After the race, more than 80 people ventured inside Weaver D's for some soul food to replace lost calories and warm up from the crisp chill of the day.
We had runners as young as 5 (they were booking it, too!) and as old as 80 (ditto!). One of the funnest parts of the race was watching the youngest runners battle it out against runners two and three times their age at the finish.
The fastest overall time was by Adam Ross of Athens, who completed the race in 17:21, and Hannah Toutkoushian took home the women's overall title with a time of 22:03. Full race results are available at Classic Race Services' website.
Some runners helped push wheelchairs across the 3.1-mile race course. Some of ESP's most persistent kids completed the course on their motorized wheelchairs. Dakota Sykora and Adam Fogie both received an honorable mention from ESP Executive Director Laura Whitaker for this feat.
Who says someone in a wheelchair can't take part in a 5K?
ESP wants to thank everyone who made the 5K a success, especially our sponsors for the event: Central Presbyterian Church Youth Ministry, Gamma Sigma Sigma, Weaver D's, Shirtworks Screenprinters, Harris & Liken LLP, ASAP Glenn Company, Southern Protective Group, Athens Dentistry for Children, Bella Salon, Publix, Alice DePass Studio of Dance, F. Neal Pylant D.M.D., James A Hasler CPA, Taylor Made Smiles, Carmichael's, Longhorn Steakhouse, McRae Family Dental P.C., Wanda's Hallmark and Custom Wood Interiors Inc.